Summary: In these two short verses we see a description of Phebe as well as what every christian should be.
Women of The New Testamanent
Phebe "An Example"
We have been looking at women of The New Testament over the past several weeks. Last week we considered two sisters, Martha & Mary. We learned from both sisters some important lessons. Martha was a worker, we need Martha’s in the church. We need to be like Martha and serve and work for the Lord. We also learned from Mary that although work may be great and important, there is something even more important than serving the Lord and that is spending time with him! Mary sat at Jesus feet and learned from him. We spend time with the Lord in prayer, and in study of His word.
This week we are going to learn about a woman named Phebe. We read about her in Romans 16 verses 1,2. That’s right, only two verses. What could we possibly learn about and from a person with just two verses? Well, if you remember two verses was all we had concerning Eunice, Timothy’s mom. Those two verses were’nt even in the same book, but we learned of her evident faith, her unfiegned faith, and her influential faith. So let’s read verses 1 &2 of Romans 16 and see what we can learn about and from Phebe.....
" I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: 2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also."
In these two short verses we see a description of Phebe as well as what every christian should be.
The first thing I notice is the word....
Now, I don’t have any reason to believe that this was the apostle Pauls sister as in sibling. But yet he refers to her as "our sister", this terminology has been used in the church since it’s beginning. We still hear in different churches "Thank you sister Mary for providing the flowers for the altar", "Thank you sister Kathy for helping collect shoes for the orphanage" Sister within the church is a description of part of the family. That’s right the family of God! I love that song, I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God.I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood! Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, For I’m part of the family, The Family of God.
You will notice we say "brother and sister" ’round here, It’s because we’re a family and these are so near; When one has a heartache, we all share the tears, And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear.
Jesus says in Matthew 12 verse 50; "50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Paul wrote to the Corinthian church and told them that we are all members of one body, the body of Christ, Phebe belonged to this body. By Paul calling her "our sister" He is saying she is a member of our family. She wasn’t just a visitor or a spectator, she belonged. There is another word used here to describe Phebe that I like....
Paul says she is a servant of the church,. The word translated for us as servant is the greek word Diakonos, which is where we get our word Deacon from. The deacon is a servant of the church. The first deacons were charged with the care of the widows, not a position of power and authority but one of service. The Lord himself said in Matthew 20 verse 28 "28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." The words minsitered and minister from that same word Diakonos meaning to serve. We don’t know specifically how she served, we do know part of what she did. Look ath the latter part of verse 2; "for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also." That word succourer means gaurdian or helper. She was a minister of help! Some times we wonder where we fit into the body. we don’t all have the gift of preaching or teaching or singing. But you know what the body need most of the time, that one that will say I’ll help. I don’t know specifically with what or how, but I’ll help! I have a friend like that. My friend Dick, he’s been here a couple of times, Dick is God’s helper. If you need something, Dick will help, he can’t sing, he can’t preach, not a teacher, although I’ve learned a lot from him. But he will help you, He’s an "I got your back guy" Sometimes he helps by pointing you to some one else. "I don’t know about that, but Bob does, do you know Bob,? Let me introduce you! Phebe is noted by Paul as being a servant. I long to hear sismilar words someday "Well done, my good and faithful servant" We will only hear those words, according to the parable taught with, if we use the talents and abilities God has given us for His glory. we do this through service.