I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.
Phoebe (which means ‘bright or radiant) was Paul’s messenger/ representative to deliver this letter to the believers in Rome (what a great honour). Phoebe was a ‘servant’ of the church in Cenchrea, a seaport a few miles east of Corinth (Acts 18:18). The word diakonon in Greek which means ‘servant’, can be used either for the office of deacon (Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:8, 10, 12) or in a more general style (Rom. 15:8; 1 Cor. 3:5). However, since the word ‘servant’ is used with the phrase ‘of the church’, it strongly suggests Phoebe held some kind of recognized position in a church, which makes Phoebe the perfect candidate to serve as Paul’s emissary.
Similarly, like Phoebe, we are all called to some extent or another to be Jesus’ servant to our fellow believers and those who do not yet know God. In what way is the Holy Spirit prompting you to serve the church and the lost today?
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
God of all Wisdom, we pray for our leaders: the World Health Organisation, national governments, and local leaders too – heads of schools, hospitals and other institutions. Since you have positioned these people in public service for this hour, we ask you to grant them wisdom beyond their own wisdom to contain this virus, faith beyond their own faith to fight this fear, and strength beyond their own strength to sustain vital institutions through this time of turmoil. God of all Wisdom and Counsel, you are powerful and merciful; may this be our prayer.