Greetings and Acknowledgements
One thing that I enjoyed from Romans 16 is Paul’s initial greetings and acknowledgments to believers. Initially, one might consider the first 16 verses as more of a habitual nod to others, but in fact Paul is able to express through these greetings the essence of how one lives as a believer in a church. For example, Paul is able to highlight the need for members in the body of Christ to care for one another and make sacrifices for the body through his greetings to Phoebe, Prisca and Aquila. In verses 1 and 2, we can see Phoebe was a deaconess and a “patroness of many,” one who serves the church and helps, sustains, and supplies other. Furthermore, in his greetings, Paul conveys a sense of family in the church. In verse 13, Paul calls Rufus’ mother “his mother as well as mine,” showing that in the church we should all have some spiritual mothers, ones who feed us and care for us. In this way, Paul’s greetings resonate as a representation of the Body of Christ as an interconnected, unified Body, instead of simply a group of people who believe in God.