Monday, 17 February 2014
Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord. Romans 16:12
Paul has more people to send greetings to in verse 12. Three names are given and, again, speculation is mostly what abounds concerning them as nothing else is noted about them in Scripture. The three of them may actually be those mentioned in the previous verse which said –
“Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.”
Paul may be singling out those who are “of the household of Narcissus.” Or, he may be going on with a new listing. The names “Tryphena and Tryphosa” are believed to be slave names, but they also may be the feminine of the Jewish name Tryphon. The two names are similar enough to arose the thought that they were closely related, probably sisters, and possibly even twins. Whatever the truth of their situation, they were noted as having “labored in the Lord.” They were diligent in their duties and model examples of what a Christian should be.
Paul next addresses his desire for the Romans to “Greet the beloved Persis.” As she is a woman, he was careful to use the word “the” in place of “my.” In so doing, he was eliminating unnecessary speculation concerning any type of close relationship, which would certainly come about. Some ancient heretical writings and even modern scholars try to find inappropriate relationships between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. In the same way, they would also perversely attempt to do this with Paul if his words could be so manipulated. But he was careful in what he conveyed concerning her.
He notes that she was one “who labored much in the Lord.” The added “much” for her may be because the first two women were named together which would form the thought of a competent team. In the case of Persis, he then might have added in “much” to distinguish that her efforts were notable through her actions alone. Again, almost all that we can guess about these three is mere speculation.
Life application; In today’s world of social media and easy communications, we can easily make a comment which could be misconstrued. Photos can also be seen as inappropriate if the context isn’t known concerning what happened. Let us endeavor to use our words wisely so that we don’t somehow make others feel that we are acting in a way contrary to our Christian calling. However, it is also true that anyone can find fault for any reason, so be ready to defend yourself when your words and actions are in line with the Bible.
Lord Jesus, it is so easy in today’s world to have people misunderstand a photo, a post, or a comment made on social media. When the context isn’t known, people can find fault over anything. I would ask that if this happens, You will help me to resolve the issue in friendliness and love. If what I do or say isn’t contrary to Scripture, then let that truth be known. I never wish to bring discredit upon You with what I do. Amen.