Romans Chapter 16

Romans 16:1 -3 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; that you receive her in the L-rd in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well. Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus),

One might think of skipping chapter 16 but it is still His word and should be given a look.

In the pagan Roman Empire there were true people of faith proclaiming Yeshua HaMashiach. Some of these true believers are mentioned. We can sense there is fellowship and love for one another. This love was a contradiction of the ways of the Roman Empire.

Some of the true believers adopted new names at baptism. Some kept their original names.

Phoebe was a women servant to the assembly who brought the letter to Rome from Corinth for Sha'ul (Paul). She was a woman in business and a deaconess. Women occupied prominent positions. The man should be the spiritual leader in the home, but sometimes this is not the case and the woman is more spiritual than the husband.

The believers here were mostly Gentiles unlike in Israel:

Priscilla and Aquila were a Jewish couple that had to leave Rome because of anti-Semitism.

Romans 16:4-7 who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; also greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia. Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Messiah before me.

Mary (Miriam) labored for others in her obedience for her Messiah Yeshua.

Sha'ul (Paul) says fellow prisoners: They must have met in one of the prisons of the Roman empire.

Romans 16:8-11 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the L-rd. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Messiah (Christ), and Stachys my beloved. Greet Apelles, the approved in Messiah (Christ). Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the L-rd.

Herodion was probably Jewish as he is referred to by Sha'ul as his kinsman.

In any event, we see Gentile and Jewish people living together, loving one another in Yeshua. This is what He desires and is an example of what it's like in heaven.

Romans 16:12-13 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the L-rd. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the L-rd. Greet Rufus, a choice man in the L-rd, also his mother and mine.

Rufus is the son of Simon of Cyrene.

Mark 15:21 And they pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His execution stake (cross).

Paul greeting includes Rufus's Mother. We learn here of this woman in the city of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) whom is the wife of Simon and like a mother to Paul (Shaul). She took Paul in when believers feared if Paul's faith was genuine. This is a good testimony of her faith (trust) in our Messiah.