The call to follow Jesus is a call to be part of a bigger family – the family of God. God never meant for us as believers to be alone. Type the phrase “one another” into any Bible software and you’ll see all the things we are to be and to do with “one another.” This was certainly true of Paul. He was no Lone Ranger in ministry (even the Lone Ranger had Tonto) and we see that in this final chapter. 13 times in the first 16 verses he says to “greet” someone. Who are these peeps? They were those who faithfully served with Paul in knowing Jesus and making Him known! So here goes:
Phoebe – she is probably delivering this letter, a helpful servant
Pricilla & Aquilla – Paul first met them on his 2nd missionary journey and worked with them in tentmaking. They risked their lives for Paul.
The Church – that meets at P&A home.
Epenetus – the first convert to Christ in Asia (kept track, must have been Baptist – he, he..)
Mary – she put in some hours for the Lord
Andronicus & Junias – They were spiritual relatives in prison with him for the Gospel. They were the best and came to Christ before Paul!
Amphliatus – love this guy!
Urbanus & Stachys – worked together, friend
Apelles – persevered some tough stuff
Aristobulus’ Home – yeah, tell ‘em hi
Herodion – relative
Narcissus – believers
Tryphena & Tryphosa – hard working women (also, a couple good names if you ever have twins)
Persis – another hard worker for Jesus
Rufus & his mom – believers who were like family to me
Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas & all my bro’s with ‘em
Philologus, Julia, Nereus & sis, Olympas & all the saints
One Another – go on, kiss ‘em for me!
Paul then ends with a warning to watch out for peeps who stir up trouble by getting them to believe a false Gospel. He wants them to be “wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” Good advice! Paul then gives greetings from those who are with him and finishes it off with a Gospel Doxology (ok, a praise song about the good news of Jesus)
*While serving Jesus, is your tendency to do everything on your own or do you look for ways to get others to serve with you? Independence may be the American way, but Inter-dependence is the Biblical way. It takes more time and energy to do work together but it is how God has designed us (1 Corinthians 12).
*When was the last time you THANKED & ENCOURAGED those with whom you serve Jesus Christ? Today – will you send an email, a text, a facebook message, a card, etc… and let them know?! Whenever I get notes like this, I keep them in a box (my anti-depressant box) and pull them out whenever I get bummed. Maybe that sounds weird, but it works for me, and some of y’all have notes in my box!
*Finally – Knowing Jesus & Making Him Known is a life-long process. And the more we spend time doing these two things, the better we’ll be able to recognize false teachings when they come – and they will come!