Book in The Bible: Romans 16
Audience of Book: Church in Rome that is Mostly Gentile with some Jews
Date of Book: Around 57 AD
Author of Book: Paul
Book is Between: Acts and 1 Corinthians
Associated With: Paul
Role in God's Story: She was a deacon who was entrusted by Paul to deliver the letter to the Romans. She is the only person named as a deacon in the Bible.
Introduction to Phoebe
Phoebe is only briefly mentioned in Romans chapter 16: 1-2. The chapter is the last of the Book of Romans.
Even though she is only mentioned briefly, there is still some importance to her name and what makes her worthwhile to know.
The first thing about Phoebe worth noting is that in some versions of the Bible, she is the only person referred to as a Deacon. In the ESV it calls her a servant but in the NIV for example it says Deacon. In 1 Timothy 3: 8 - 13 it talks about the qualifications of a deacon. Understanding this will speak to the character of Phoebe.
Qualifications of a Deacon
- Not double-tongued
- Not addicted to alcohol
- Not greedy
- Hold to the faith well
- Must have been tested
The second thing he lays out about Phoebe is that she has been a benefactor or a patron, meaning she has supported the church. It paints a clear picture that Phoebe is a servant of Jesus Christ ready to give her time, talents, and money to serving the Kingdom of God.
Important Bible Verses With Phoebe
"I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me."
What You Can Learn From Phoebe
How Phoebe Points to Christ
Phoebe points to Jesus in such a glorious way and it only took two quick verses to see this. Phoebe is following Jesus Christ. In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, you see what Jesus did from birth until death.
He came to spread the good news and tell people that he was the son of God. He lived a life of perfection meaning he did everything a deacon should do and more.
Lastly, he did not just give his time, talents or money but he gave his life up for the church. In two short verses, Paul tells the church her credentials, it's clear that she was chasing the example Christ set.