Good and Faithful Servants
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; 2 that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; 5 also greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brethren with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
Out of 26 people mentioned 9 are females
Phoebe (1) Priscilla (3), Mary (6), Junia (7), Tryphena and Tryphosa, who may have been twin sisters, (12), Rufus’ mother (13), Julia and Nereus’ sister (15).
a. There are at least three things we know about women in early Christianity.
1. women made up a significant part of the early Christian church (note the list above);
2. women were given the same access to God that men enjoyed
3. women engaged in significant ministry .
2. Paul’s relatives
Andronicus and Junias (v.7); Herodian (v.11) and Jason and Sosipater (21) are all called kinsman of Paul.
1 Cor 7:14
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.
They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Ampliatus (8), Urbanus (9), Hermes (14), Philologus and Julia (15) were common names for slaves.
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Apelles, household of Aristobulus mentioned (10) was the grandson of Herod the Great and friend of the Emperor Claudius,
Narcissus (11) was a rich and powerful freedman who exercised great influence on Emperor Claudius. Possibly his secretary.
21 They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.
6. These names reveal the following
a. That the power of the gospel reached all different kinds of people.
b. That the gospel brought unity among people where their lives would have never crossed.
c. That the gospel ministry was carried out by many people from all walks of life.