Romans 16:1-16 | With Much Aloha

by | Dec 7, 2020

READ Romans 16:1-16

Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send you greetings.(Romans 16:16)

After Paul’s prayer for God’s peace and for his trip to Rome to meet the fellow believers, Paul then concludes this letter to the Romans. Personal greetings are a typical way of concluding for Paul in his letters. But what is not typical is the large number of personal greetings here. This number of twenty-six individuals, two families and three house churches is unmatched by any other letter of Paul! This number is astounding considering Paul never visited the Roman church. 

Firstly, notice that Paul previously wrote about the division between Jews and Gentiles, but the names of believers Paul includes here are a mix of Jews and Gentiles. We know the gospel transcends and unites His people (despite their differences), transforming them all into the body of Christ, all coworkers for Jesus. See that Paul is not a “lone ranger” type of missionary. He depends on others and sees them as his coworkers. And if Paul needed help, how much more do we! 

Lastly, notice that, as Paul greets people, he affirms them. He affirms Phoebe, a “benefactor of many” and “servant of the church.” He greets and affirms Prisca and Aquila as “coworkers in Christ” who risked their lives for him. Paul calls two “noteworthy,” another “approved in Christ,” and yet another “dear friend” and “chosen in the Lord.” This long list of names is more than a list of names. Here are stories of people living life in Christ in community and working side-by-side. The nine women mentioned by Paul shows us that women played an important role in ministry of the early church. Paul acknowledges all these people from different local churches in Rome with much aloha. 

“All the churches send you greetings.” Let’s love each other as coworkers in the Lord and treat each other rightly as the body of Christ. Will you be like Paul, greeting, affirming, and acknowledging others in Christ with love?

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