Paul Acknowledges by Name many who mean so much to him
Romans 16:6-16 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brethren with them. Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. NKJV
Paul now moves into the home stretch of his epistle or letter to these brothers and sisters in Rome by praising with loving adoration and brotherly kindness and thanksgiving all of the saints he knew who aided him or assisted him in various capacities in the parts of the world Paul had traveled proclaiming the gospel of grace. Paul first mentions by name Mary and declares to those Christians in Rome that this woman had worked hard for them and their good even to the point or weariness. Next Paul mentioned Andronicus and Junias who were Jews like Paul and also imprisoned with him for the cause of Christ and the proclamation of the gospel. Paul not only had such dear affections for these two Jews for that cause, but also because they suffered for our Lord Jesus like Paul in prison for the truth of the gospel and bore the marks of our Lord Jesus Christ in their own bodies as Paul spoke of himself (Galatians 6:17). Paul also used the English phrase “of note” among the Apostles and this phrase is translated by the Greek word episemos which means having a mark on it, marked, stamped, coined marked in a good sense of note. These two Christians were very well-known and widely known among all the saints and even the first Apostles to be genuine, authentic, devout, and steadfast followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul acknowledges Ampliatus and Stachys as beloved to him as well as Urbanus all were fellow workers with Paul for the gospel. Paul names Apelles as approved in Christ which literally means tried or tested and found to be true. Aristobulus and Narcissus and their entire households receive commendation from Paul. Herodion another fellow Jew like Paul is mentioned in Paul’s greeting. Tryphaena, Tryphosa, and Persis Paul greets as hard workers for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and also beloved by Paul. Paul mentions a man named Rufus and his mother, who Paul considers as his own mother. Paul had surely found the promise of our Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples to be true when He said, Mark 10:28-30 Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” NKJV
Paul had found this in these brothers and sisters in Christ as well as many others throughout all of his journeys for the sake of the gospel and Paul knew what it was to be hated and despised by his “own kinsmen” the Jews and it is why he is always quick and eager to recognize a fellow Jew turned to Christ as such in his list of names acknowledged here. Paul continues on acknowledging Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brethren with them, then Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. Paul then concludes his discourse of grateful adoration for these members in our Lord Jesus Christ Mystical Body by urging and exhorting them to greet one another with a holy kiss or a physically pure kiss with the sincere love of Christ in their hearts as the motivation for such greeting. It was a common way of receiving other people in that part of the world at that time and it is still practiced throughout that region of the world even to this very day to kiss on both cheeks the man or woman you greet. Paul adds the phrase “holy kiss” to place the genuine mark or stamp of the believer’s regenerated hearts of love for one another as always the motivation for everything we do with one another, for one another, and to one another. Finally, Paul ends by telling them every Church of Christ greets them.
“The Gospel that came into the world to rend old associations and to split up society, and to make a deep cleft between fathers and children and husband and wife, came also to more than counterbalance its dividing effects by its uniting power. And in that old world that was separated into classes by gulfs deeper than any of which we have any experience, it, and it alone, threw a bridge across the abysses and bound men together.” Alexander MacLaren
“He concludes with the recommendation of them to the love and embraces one of another: Salute one another with a holy kiss. Mutual salutations, as they express love, so they increase and strengthen love, and endear Christians one to another: therefore Paul here encourages the use of them, and only directs that they may be holy - a chaste kiss, in opposition to that which is wanton and lascivious; a sincere kiss, in opposition to that which is treacherous and dissembling, as Judas’s, when he betrayed Christ with a kiss.” Matthew Henry
“When we find our new found relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ has driven a wedge in many of our earthly family relationships, we can gain strength knowing that our brothers and sisters in Christ love us with a pure, passionate, and perfect love in Christ that can never fail us.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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