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Romans 16:2: That You May Welcome Her in the Lord In a Way Worthy of the Saints

Romans 16:2

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. (ESV)

It is common in our current day to hear people level accusations against Christianity of women being treated as inferior. While the Bible does make clear distinction between the two genders it never treats women with less dignity than men. Paul himself is here commending Phoebe, who is delivering this letter to the church at Rome, traveling over 600 miles from Corinth.

Paul wants to make sure that the church in Rome welcomes her properly. They are to help in her in any way, just as she has helped others in many ways at Corinth. Paul himself was the recipient of Phoebe's generous serving. Paul does not attempt to describe Phoebe as being in any way inferior to himself, but rather he identifies with her as they are both servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is interesting to hear Phoebe described as a patron saint. In Catholicism a patron saint is a "saint to whose protection and intercession a person, a society, a church, or a place is dedicated"( Now, we are in no way to pray to Phoebe. There is one intercessor between God and man, and that is Jesus Christ. We can, however, recognize her wonderful example of serving and helping others in need.

Phoebe's influence was so significant that we are talking about her almost two thousand years later. She led by serving. This is great evidence of her relationship with her Savior. She was not commended by the Apostle Paul because of her attempts to "be in charge." Rather, she was commended for her continual service to others, all of it done in the name of Jesus Christ.

If someone were introducing you to another group of believers in Jesus Christ, how would they describe you? Would you be recognized for your faithful service to Christ, and to others?