"I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me" (Romans 16:1-2)
I always get excited when I read about women in the Bible or see a women mentioned in the scriptures such as Phoebe. Not much detail is given about her nor is she mentioned anywhere else except in this final chapter in Romans. But she will always be remembered as the person who delivered Paul's epistle to the believers at Rome.
What an amazing task this must have been. Travel was not easy nor safe, but she was given this great letter and sent to deliver it. With it came a personal recommendation from Paul, this tells us a lot about this lady. Paul told them that she was a servant of the church in Cenchrea and many assume that she might have been a deaconess or minister there. The word for servant, translated from the Greek means attendant and is used elsewhere to denote a Christian teacher, pastor, deacon or deaconess. However the word was also used in the case of a servant or someone who did errands as a slave. Whether or not Phoebe was a deaconess or servant one truth remains, she was a great help to the many people.
Paul instructed this church to help her out in whatever means necessary as she also helped others. This is an important truth that illustrators the principal of reaping what you sow. Just knowing that she helped and ministered to others in their time of need would empower the Romans to assist her while in Rome and on her journey. This is why Paul mentioned it. He instructed them that she had been a great help to others and even himself, so in the same way they should assist her when possible. Jesus said, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" ( Luke 6:38 ). This is one of the key principal how the Kingdom of God works, we will reap what we sow. So in helping others, others will be more likely to help us. Paul is advocating that Phoebe has earned their help and respect by the help she had given him.
The same holds true for us today, we are more likely to assist those who willingly help us and vica versa. Like Phoebe were are servants of Jesus and ministers to His church. We are tasks with helping and caring for our brothers and sisters when there is a need. Today, I pray that you become aware of those needs and step in and help when possible. Just like Phoebe, you will be remembered for your servants heart and for caring and ministering to the saints of God. May this truth bless you today as you walk in it!