Romans 16 Lesson

Getting To Know Our Neighbor

As we read the closing chapter of the Book of Romans, it would be easy to go through it quickly and sum it up as a bunch of names of people that we do not know.

That would be missing the point. The names are listed to show us that Paul knew all these people well and that he was looking out for them.

In Romans Chapter 16, Paul names more than twenty-five people. They come from all kinds of backgrounds. Some are his relatives; some are people that he was in prison with; all are workers for the Lord.  

THOSE MENTIONED BY PAUL IN ROMANS 16

So what can we learn from Chapter 16? To answer that question, let us look a little closer at the people that Paul wrote about in his letter and what he had to say about them:

  • Phoebe - A servant of the church in Cenchrea.   A helper of many.
  • Prisca and Aquila – “Risked their own necks” for Paul’s life.  
  • Epaenetus - Was “Beloved” by Paul and was also the first convert to Christ from Asia.
  • Mary – “Who has worked hard for you.”
  • Andronicus and Junias.   Paul knew both from prison and had respect for them.   He refers to them as his kinsmen who were, “Outstanding among the apostles,” and who were in Christ before Paul was.   Google defines Kinsman as, “A blood relative, especially a male, or a relative by marriage.”   So Andronicus and Junias were relatives of Paul’s.  
  • Ampliatus.   Beloved in the Lord.
  • Urbanus – Our fellow worker in Christ.
  • Stachys – My beloved.
  • Apelles – The approved in Christ.
  • Those of the household of Aristobulus.  
  • Herodion – My kinsman (Another relative of Paul’s).
  • Those of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.
  • Tryphaena and Tryphosa – Workers in the Lord.
  • Persis – The beloved who has worked hard in the Lord.
  • Rufus – A choice man in the Lord.
  • Rufus’ mother.
  • Paul’s mother.
  • Asyncritus.
  • Phlegun.
  • Hermes.
  • Patrobas.
  • Hermas and the brethren with them.
  • Philologus and Julia.
  • Nereus and his sister.
  • Olympas and all the saints who are with them.

GETTING TO KNOW OUR NEIGHBOR

Paul knew many people.He not only knew their names; he knew about their lives.   He knew what they had been through, and where they were from.  This did not happen by accident.  It happened because Paul showed people that he cared. It happened because he got involved in their lives and loved them.

There is a saying,People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care .” If we are too busy to spend time getting to know people, then there is something in our lives that needs to change because that is not how God wants us to live. Sometimes we get so busy living our day-to-day lives and our routines that we lose sight of what is important. If we have too much going on to love our neighbor, then we need to remove some less important things from our lives. In other words, if life is not adding up, it is time to start subtracting!

ENCOURAGEMENT

One of the best ways to get to know our neighbors is to encourage the people that God brings into our lives. We need to remember, that God has a plan for all of us, (Jeremiah 29:11) and that the people that are in our lives may be there as part of God’s plan. Taking a few moments to get to know the people around us and offering sincere words of encouragement is a fantastic way to evangelize.

God wants His followers to encourage one another. Consider the following two scriptures:

  1. "Therefore encourageone another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:11,
  2. “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” - Hebrews 3:13.

CONCLUSION

The Greatest Commandment in the Bible is to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Mathew 22:37)

The second greatest commandment is to, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mathew 22:39) In order to do this, we need to take the time to get to know our neighbors. It is obvious from Paul’s letter to the Romans that he knew about others and that he cared for them. That is how God wants all of us to be!

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture:

  • “If there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” – Romans 13:9.

Comments

Michael

I don't think there is any substitute for breaking bread with somebody. Whether in our home or out at a restaurant, taking the time to eat with somebody and find out a little bit more about them shows that we care and helps strengthen relationships.

Reply
Pat Dermody


People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care .” I really like this quotation of yours. During this pandemic we find ourselves with a lot of free time on our hands. It is a time we can sit by Idly watching TV or reading or we can use it to show people that we care. There are people out there living alone Or who are alone in nursing homes and might appreciate a phone call Or a note. There are neighbors who may need assistance with getting groceries or help in their yard. Pause and think about how you can show somebody you know
that you care

Reply
Bruce Bruinsma

Events impact people and leave lasting memories that live on. The events of today play a rooe in our tomorrow’s

Reply
John
Bruce Bruinsma

Amen

Reply
John

We can use technology to get to know people better as well. With the worldwide pandemic, more people are using technology to connect and reconnect with loved ones in their lives. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Reply