The Roman Phone Book

The Roman Phone Book

Romans 16:1-16 – I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus.  Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them.  Greet Philologus, 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.

For how many of you, when you reach a section of Scripture with a list of names, you find it easy to just want to skip it?

As we near the end of the great book of Romans, I love this section so much.

When I first became a Christian, to be honest, I would skip over sections like this, and I felt good because it seemed to make my Bible reading go much faster and I was making more progress. Genesis’ genealogies seemed like the Hebrew phone book, and this was like the Roman phone book, and I figured I wasn’t Roman, so it wasn’t important.

Now that I’ve been a senior pastor for 25 years, these are some of my favorite parts of the entire people because God made people, loves people, the Holy Spirit works through people, and Jesus died and rose for people. So, when you meet people, you’re meeting miracles – someone who met God, is being used by God, serving God, and has a purpose for their lives in relation to God.

We want to look at people and love people like Jesus did and if God found it important enough to put this list of people in the Bible, we should pay attention to them and what we can learn from them.

Do you usually skip over these sections of the Bible? What can you learn from people Paul names by name here?

To find the free Romans 12-16 digital study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit or download the Real Faith app.

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]