Romans 16:1–16 (NKJV)
1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.Romans 16:1-2
Pheobe is being sent to Rome by Paul for a purpose. Paul recommends her to the Roman Christians as hard-working and helpful. While a short recommendation, it is enough to garner her acceptance among them. She is a sister, a servant, a saint. Paul made her entrance to the people at Rome easier by doing this.
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house.Romans 16:3-16
Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ. 6 Greet Mary, who labored much for us. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
8 Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my countryman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.
12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.
Many of Paul’s former companions have made their way to Rome. He names them and asks the recipients of this letter to greet them on his behalf. Paul had deep connections with so very many Christians throughout Asia Minor and into Europe, because he had won many of them and discipled them, and some of them had now migrated to Rome. It was as if Paul had already been there through them. He wanted them to send his regards and his love. He ends this part of his farewell with an admonition to greet one another with a holy kiss. A kiss was a greeting of respect and regard, not a romantic gesture in this context, and meant that Christians should greet one another with such emotions. Paul is taking care of housekeeping matters since he had concluded the bulk of his teaching content in this epistle to the Romans. This is a little written visiting before signing off. It shows the congeniality and personal connection included in Paul’s ministry, which we should emulate.