Saturday, 15 February 2014
Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. Romans 16:10
Paul next requests greetings be extended to Apelles. Like many others, this is the only time he is mentioned in Scripture, but what an honor to be singled out of a congregation, recognized by the hand of the great Apostle, and be eternally recorded in God’s superior word! But not all mentioned in the Bible are mentioned favorably. In fact, many times the opposite is true. And so the honor to Apelles is even greater because he is noted as one “approved in Christ.”
The Greek word used to describe him is dokimon, meaning a type of approval which indicates “testing.” His faith was tried, it was tested, and he proved faithful in the test. We can speculate all day as to what type of test he was given – loss of family or work, torture or imprisonment, etc. But whatever it was, it was enough to have Paul single him out as having passed the test. May we be found so worthy and so noted!
After Apelles, Paul next requests greetings for “those who are of the household of Aristobulus.” This may seem curious, but there are several possibilities that would precipitate such a comment as this –
1) Aristobulus, though not being a believer, could have been extremely well known in Rome. Those in his household then would be those who were either family or slaves who had received Christ.
2) Aristobulus, whether a believer or not, could already be dead. If this is the case, then greeting only those who are of his household would make sense.
3) Aristobulus could be a noted Christian evangelist or missionary from Rome, but living away from Rome. If so, then it wouldn’t make sense to greet him along with his household.
For one of these, or whatever other reason, the household of Aristobulus is singled out for a hearty greeting while not greeting him specifically.
Life application: Paul took time to remember those who were under other’s authority even if he didn’t mention them by name. Pastors have families, missionaries have children, etc. If you are greeting one, then take time to greet all. They will remember and take to heart that someone cared enough to think of them as well.
Glorious and perfect Savior. Should I face a test of my faith, will my conduct be found acceptable in Your sight? Do I have the strength to live out the life I have claimed? You have said that those who follow You will face trials and hardships and I want to be ready each time they come. Strengthen me now Lord for those trials which lay ahead so that I will only bring You glory in the eyes of others. Amen.