‘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.’ Romans 16:1-2
Today’s post is about a woman from the New Testament named Phoebe. Phoebe’s name is only found in Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. At the end of the letter Paul wrote to the Roman church, he included personal greetings. It is in this section, we read about Phoebe. While the mention of Phoebe is limited to two verses, we know it can offer us a valuable lesson. ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.’ 2 Timothy 3:16-17
In the letter’s personal greetings, Paul began this section by complimenting Phoebe and referred to her as a servant of the church at Cenchreae. In Acts 18, we read that Paul visited the church at Cenchreae on his way to Antioch. Although, we aren’t given many details about Paul’s time at Cenchreae, obviously Phoebe made an impression on Paul.
In Paul’s next statement, he instructed the Roman church to welcome Phoebe and help her in whatever she needs. While the bible doesn’t reveal to us why Phoebe traveled to Rome, obviously she made plans to fellowship with the church during her time there.
The last point Paul made about Phoebe explained how she supported him and others. We don’t know the specifics of exactly how Phoebe supported Paul during his time with the church at Cenchreae, but we know that Paul obviously appreciated what she did since he requested that the church at Rome welcome her in a way worthy of the saints.
Although Romans does not reveal many details about how Phoebe served others or even why Paul thought well enough of her to mention her by name in his letter, what is revealed is her example. As a woman of faith, Phoebe used her talents, time, and opportunities to help further the kingdom of God. May we all look to her example and be mindful to use our time, opportunity, and talents to help spread the gospel.
Please join me tomorrow for a discussion about Priscilla in Acts 18.