Summary: Where can we see examples of servants of God? Paul tells us that Phoebe is one of those examples. Though we don’t know a lot about Phoebe, we do know that she was a deacon and servant to many.
The book of Romans is an interesting book written by Paul to the Church of Rome
The purpose of the book was for Paul to do three things:
1. To introduce himself to the church and enlist their help in spreading the Gospel
2. To develop and defend the truth of the Gospel message he had been preaching
3. To encourage the Roman believers to rely solely on God’s grace for their salvation, so they could understand how people can be made righteous and be transformed in their lives through Christ
By far, the book of Romans my favorite book in the Bible
As Paul is concluding his epistle (an epistle is a letter written to a large group of people), we read a long list of personal greetings.
The first personal greeting is about a woman named Phoebe
For weeks, we have been talking about women that we don’t know their names.
Finally, we have a name.
And in Paul’s greeting, he commends or sends a deaconess to Roman named Phoebe.
Paul tells us that Phoebe is a woman who is:
Worthy of being a saint
Has helped many people, including Paul
And has the authority to ask for help from the Roman church to do ministry.
It’s quite possible that Phoebe, herself, is carrying this letter to the Church of Roman.
Paul uses the word servant or diakonia to describe Phoebe
Diakonia means deacon.
And a deacon is defined as “one of the laymen elected by a church with congregational polity to serve in worship, in pastoral care, and on administrative committees”
So it’s safe to say that Phoebe had a leadership role in the church.
Her ministry was pastoral care.
It’s possible that we could dive into the issue of woman in ministry when we talk about this passage.
I personally think that women should be allowed to be ministers.
But that’s the road in which I would like to go down today.
Instead, I would like to look at Phoebe in a different light.
She was a person who serves others.
1. Serving means giving or using one’s talents to help others.
2. Not being selfish, but sharing
Serving was Phoebe’s ministry and Paul recognized it
Serving in the life of the church means that there is a bigger picture than what our eyes may see.
Paul ended up sending Phoebe to the Church of Roman and told the church to help her.
Maybe they needed to be taught what it means to serve
Maybe they needed an examine like Phoebe
It’s very possible that Phoebe would have never dreams of going to Rome.
But in being willing to serve God, she went
Let me ask you, “How well do you serve God?”
How well are you willing to trust God for the larger picture and work in area that He puts you in?