Paul’s letters are letters much like ours to friends or family. At least, they tend to end that way. The letter to the church in Rome, which we just finished on the podcast, is a good example of that.
We might compliment someone who is doing a great job like Paul did Phoebe. We might say, “Please say hi to Laura or Aunt Jackie,” just like Paul said, “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother — and mine. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who are with them.
Oh, and speaking of Rufus, do you remember Mark 15:21, when Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry Jesus’ cross? The verse says, They forced a man coming in from the country, who was passing by, to carry Jesus’s cross. He was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Simon must have been changed that day as he walked alongside our suffering Savior. I can imagine how Simon and his wife may have chosen to become Christians, and raised their boys to do the same.
Children really do learn what they live because in Romans 16, we read that Rufus is a co-worker in the faith with Paul. Paul was so cared for by Rufus’ mom that he considered her his mom too. Ripple effect, wouldn’t you say?
Dropping down to near the end of the letter, you’ll see Tertius saying he wrote the letter. And he probably did. If was customary for the prophets to dictate their letters to a secretary. This was particularly true for Paul because he apparently had horrible eyesight.
Finally, Paul ends his letter to the church in Rome as perhaps we should always end our correspondence, especially to those we care about. glorifying God for His awesome work through Christ.
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