Questions for Littles: Whom does Paul commend to them in v1? What does he ask them to do for her (v2)? Whom does he say to greet in v3? What had they done (v4)? Who meet in their house (v5)? What does he call Epaenetus? What had Mary done (v6)? Whom did the apostles consider noteworthy, according to v7? What does he call Amplias (v8)? Who was Urbanus (v9)? And what does he call Stachys? What does he say about Apelles (v10)? Whose household are they to greet? Who is Herodion (v11)? Which of the household of Narcissus are they to greet? What have Tryphena and Tryphosa done (v12)? How about Persis? What does he call Rufus (v13)? What does he call Rufus’s mother? Whom else does he say to greet in v14-15? How are they to greet one another (v16)? Who else greets them?In this week’s Epistle reading, we might have been surprised by the sheer volume of text used for personal greetings. Considering that it contains everything that we need for faith and practice, the Bible is a pretty short book. It’s efficient. Nothing is wasted. When something is repeated, that’s important. When a large amount of text is spent upon something, that’s important. Now, when a large amount of text is spent upon something that doesn’t seem at first like it would be important… we’re about to learn that something is more important than we thought.
So, one of the main things that we learn from this passage is that greeting one another is important. We can see many of the reasons why in the “middle” verses. We are fellow workers. We risk for one another. We work for one another. We have been through much together. We share a mutual love. We are like family.
But it is at the bookends that we are reminded of the strongest reasons to make sure that we greet one another. At the beginning of the passage, we learn that affectionate greetings are something that is owed to those who are called saints—literally, “holy ones.” These greetings are given “in the Lord.”
And then, at the end of our passage, we are told to greet one another with a holy kiss—a kiss that is reserved for those whom God has set apart for Himself.
Do we long to renew fellowship with one another and make certain to greet one another affectionately? Let us learn to do so for all of these good reasons!
What opportunities do we have for greeting one another in the Lord?Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or HB473 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”