Romans 16:1-16 “The Family Album”
May 11 2020
“The Family Album”
The 16th chapter of Romans is not an insignificant relic of the past that is only full of names that are easier to forget and harder to pronounce! Instead it’s a chapter of the future not the past. It’s a testimony that what matters most in this life is not our possessions or positions but our friendships which is all of this life that will remain and pass into eternity. What we have here is not a mere list of names, but a testimony of what God does in lives that will last forever. A quick peek into this “Family Album” and we see a true representation of heaven as it is God Who alone has made our enduring love and friendship possible.
Behind every name is a story and the ones listed here would make up a “love story” as these are all folks that God loved and loved God. The story is in their transformation and how God was now using them to love others in making new friends. Many of these names and their stories will have to wait as we don’t know much of them, but we will one day. Of the 24 specific names mentioned six are women which is interesting concerning the fact that Paul is often maligned for what many perceive as his disregard for women in authority. I suggest that if you want to know what Paul thought of women you only need to read this chapter to see that he valued them as equals in serving Jesus and verbally shows his appreciation for all they do. Three times (verses 6, 12) Paul says that these ladies “labored” and he chooses a word in the Greek that means “to work to the point of exhaustion”. Two of these names mean “dainty” and “delicate” but Paul says that these two aristocrats had developed a habit in Christ of working until they just couldn’t do another thing. Of those 24 specific names 13 occur in inscriptions on official documents in the Emperor’s palace in Rome. This is interesting because of what Paul wrote in Philip. 4:22 that, “All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar's household.” Dear friends, We must remember that Christianity had penetrated the imperial palace of the world empire in less than 70 years and it had done so on the back of friendship. Oh, how thankful I am to call you all my friends and to be your friend as well!
This has been Pastor Dale, Blessings!