In my last post, I started going through the greetings at the end of the book of Romans. I talked about some issues with women in leadership. There’s another that I’ll hit quickly today.
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Greet also the church that meets at their house.
You may remember these people if you’ve read through the book of Acts. Priscilla and Aquila were a Jewish couple, who Paul met in Corinth. (Acts 18) They were tent-makers, like Paul, so he stayed with them and joined their business.
They began to minister with Paul, and moved to Ephesus where they planted a church in their home. Now they’ve moved to Rome where they again have a house-church.
In the book of Acts, Luke refers to the woman as Priscilla. That’s the informal, friendly name used for the name, Priska. In this verse in Romans, Paul uses her more formal name, Priska, even though the translators chose to use Priscilla so we’d know who was being talked about.
Why is that important?
The fact that Paul listed her first, along with her husband is significant. On top of that, he used her formal name out of respect. That tells me that she was the senior pastor of their home-church. Like I said in my last post, God can call whoever He desires to do His work.
Then, in verses 5b through 16, Paul sends his greetings to a number of people in the church. That tells me a lot about who the apostle was. He was a man who loved people.
Of those listed in this group, half of them were either women or slaves. In that society, they were treated like property or pets. Yet Paul saw them all as important, and he appreciated them.
We need to learn this lesson. We need to let others know that they’re loved. I recently heard a speaker give us this principal: “People love people who love people.”
We like to be around others who we think can uplift us. We need to learn to appreciate people who can do nothing for us. The church, more than any other group, should be a place where everyone gets love and affirmation.
That’s why Paul gives his next instruction.
I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
Our human nature wants to constantly feed itself. We look for others who will stroke our egos. We need to constantly guard against this.
Part of winning this mind battle, is to keep away from those who obviously are after their own agendas. We need to choose our friends wisely. Attitudes have a way of rubbing off on those around them.
After sending greetings from his companions, Paul makes a closing statement.
Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him – to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
This is the summation for everything he’s written in this letter. I think it’s appropriate that he calls this letter his Gospel. It does contain everything we need to know to establish our lives in Christ Jesus.
Question: How has the book of Romans affected your life?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi