FACEBOOK FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND FOLLOWERS
We are about to embark on our next journey through Chapter Sixteen of the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans. It is one of the least read and taught on chapters in this marvelous Epistle. And the reason given is that it is only a list of names that we don’t recognize.
I like what early church preacher Chrysostom had to say: He noted that there are many, even some apparently good commentators, who hurry over this part of the epistle because they think it is pointless and of little importance. They probably think much the same about the genealogies in the Gospels. They see it as a catalog of names and think they can get nothing good out of it. But people who mine gold are careful even about the smallest specks that eventually add up to be very valuable. Chrysostom laments, sad to say, some of these commentators even ignore huge bars of gold!1
There is much that these names can teach us if we are only patient and dedicated enough to examine them. When we think that on the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, all the names of those who perished in that terrible act of terror are read. We may not recognize any of those names unless they were somehow connected to us. Yet, we listen in reverence for the price they paid for the freedom we enjoy.
Let’s look at these names here in Romans Sixteen the same way. By reading and seeing what the Apostle had to say about them is our way of paying respect to these early church champions of the Gospel and our Lord Jesus the Christ. So I encourage you to go along and see what we find out about these heroic disciples of Christ that may inspire us in our walk with Him.
I’m so proud of all of you who’ve stuck with it so far and proved yourselves as true lovers of God’s Holy Word. It’s our last chapter in this great letter, so there’s no reason to quit now when we are so close to the finish line. God loves those who don’t give up and persevere to the end. God bless you all, you have my greatest admiration.
We will begin Chapter Sixteen this coming Monday, February 18th. I’ll be looking for your names as you say that you like what you are reading. Again, God bless you for being such wonderful students of this wonderful Book of Romans.- Dr. Robert R Seyda
1 Chrysostom: Homilies on Romans 30