Paul Greets His Friends (Day 33)

Read Romans 16:1-16
   Phoebe was known as a deaconess, or servant and helper. Apparently she was a wealthy person who helped support Paul’s ministry. Phoebe was highly regarded in the church, and she may have delivered this letter from Corinth to Rome. This provides evidence that women had important roles in the early church. Cenchrea, the town where Phoebe lived, was the eastern port of Corinth, six miles from the city center. 
   Priscilla and Aquila were a married couple who had become Paul’s close friends. They, along with all other Jews, had been expelled from Rome by the emperor (Acts 18) and had moved to Corinth. There they met Paul and invited him to live with them. They were Christians before they met Paul and probably told him much about the Roman church. Like Paul, Priscilla and Aquila were missionaries. They helped believers in Ephesus (Acts 18), in Rome when they were allowed to return, and again at Ephesus (2 Timothy 4). 
The fact that Andronicus and Junias were respected among the apostles could mean they had distinguished themselves as apostles. They may have been a husband and wife team. Paul’s reference to them as relatives could mean that they were from the same tribe as Paul. 
   Paul’s personal greetings went to Romans and Greeks, Jews and Gentiles, men and women, prisoners and prominent citizens. The church’s base was broad, crossing cultural, social, and economic lines. From this we learn that the Christian community was mobile. Though Paul had not yet been to Rome, he had met these people in other places on his journeys.