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Ecclesiastes Podcast

Romans 16:21-24

The Apostle Paul writes to the world-renowned believers in Rome, the center of the world at that time, in order to answer a slanderous charge made to them against Paul and his message. Paul’s detractors claim his emphasis on faith overturns the law. Paul says that ” just living by the law” does not achieve personal justice before God, while “just living by faith” does. Paul then demonstrates what a just life looks like: harmonious living with Jesus as the leader. Paul also makes clear the choice a believer has: to walk in faith and the power of the resurrection and experience resurrection life, or walk in sin and unnecessarily experience the negative consequences.


Paul ends his letter to the believers in Rome with greetings and blessings. He mentions 26 believers that he either sends his greetings to or that he sends greetings from. Paul reminds the believers in Rome that although they are being obedient to God, they should not stop watching out for false teachers like the competing Jewish “authorities.”


Paul now sends greetings from those that are with him to the believers in Rome.

 

Some of those with Paul sent personal greetings to the believers in Rome. We know much about Timothy from the rest of Paul’s letters. Paul was Timothy’s mentor and eventually, Timothy served as Paul’s representative to several churches, teaching and instructing them. Presumably, Timothy was with Paul when he finished this letter and sent his greetings,Timothy my fellow worker greets you. So do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen, meaning they are of Jewish origin. A Lucius is also mentioned in Acts 13:1 as a teacher of the church at Antioch, this could be the same Lucius. A Jason is also mentioned in Acts 17:1-10, he hosted Paul and Silas at Thessalonica. Because he hosted them, an angry mob attacked him but he was eventually released by the authorities; this could be the same Jason. Sosipater mentioned here is probably the same man who accompanied Paul on his third missionary journey (Acts 20:4).

 

We do not know anything else about Tertius besides what we learn here: I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord. He was the scribe for this letter. Gaius, host to [Paul] and to the whole church, greets you. He hosted Paul while he stayed in Corinth and evidently also hosted a church at his home. This is the same Gaius that Paul baptized in 1 Corinthians 1:14. It is unclear whether or not this is the same Gaius mentioned in Acts 19:29, Acts 20:4, or the Gaius that third letter of John addresses. Some say some of them are the same person, some say these are 4 different people. Erastus also sent greetings and was Corinth’s city treasurer, an esteemed position. An Erastus is also named as a man who accompanied Timothy to Macedonia (Acts 19:22) and is mentioned again in salutations to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:20). It is again unclear if these are all references to different people or the same. All we know about Quartus is written here, that he was a brother in Christ. The blessing given in this section is in parenthesis because it is only found in some manuscripts and is not considered to be legitimate by some scholars. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

 

It is evident from the greetings Paul and his companions sent that they greatly cared for the believers in Rome. In Romans chapter 12, Paul described the church as a body with each member of the body doing their part and caring for other believers. These believers cared about each other from afar and truly sought harmonious living amongst each other.

Biblical Text

21 Timothy my fellow worker greets you, and so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen. 22 I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius, host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer greets you, and Quartus, the brother. 24 [The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.]