With these words, Paul begins a list of co-workers in the Lord who are in Rome. Surprisingly, among these co-laborers, we find several women listed:
- Phoebe, a servant of the church of Cenchrea, who has been a great help to many people, including Paul;
- Priscilla, wife of Aquila, who, with him, is a fellow worker who risked her life for Paul and hosts a church in their home in Rome;
- Mary, who worked very hard for the Roman Christians;
- Tryphena and Tryphosa, who are labourers in the Lord;
- Persis, a beloved friend who has worked hard for the Lord;
- Rufus' mother, who was like a mother for Paul;
- Nureus' sister, as well as Julia and Olympas, who are all part of a group of believers in Rome.
In all, one third of the names listed in Romans 16:1-16 were women. This hints at the contribution of women to Christian missions in the first century. In later centuries, multitudes of women would become martyrs, pioneering nuns, or missionaries of all types. In every generation, women, as well as men, have played a huge role in seeing Christ's mission advance.
Whether you are a man or a woman, senior citizen or student, God has a purpose and plan for you. Don’t let your gender, social status, career, or anything else keep you from serving the Lord and helping others know of His wonderful mercy and love.
Father, thank you for calling both men and women into Christ's kingdom, and for indwelling and empowering all your children so that we can all participate in your mission. This list is but a small sampling of the people who have played a part in changing eternity down through the centuries. In your grace, use me as well to advance your mission in my generation. Amen.
Go Deeper — Choose to read a biography of one woman who played a major role in seeing the Great Commission advance.
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