Sunday: Romans 16:21
v21: Some of Paul’s companions also sent their greetings. It seems likely that he would have read the finished letter to those in Corinth before sending it, and if so, some may have asked to have their names included because of ties they had with believers in Rome (Charles R. Erdman, Romans, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1925, p. 158). Timothy is the first name listed and he would have known many of the same people Paul knew from having traveled with him. Lucius cannot be identified with any certainty but the earlier mention of Rufus (v13) makes it possible he is the same Lucius who is referred to as “Lucius of Cyrene” in Acts 13 (Ac 13:1). If so, he may be a relative or close friend of Simeon (Simon) called Niger (Ac 13:1) who, as we noted, might be Simon of Cyrene (Mk 15:21).
Monday: Romans 16:21
v21 (continued): Jason is very likely the person Paul converted to Christ in Thessalonica who was forced by city authorities to put up a bond guaranteeing that there would be no further trouble (Ac 17:1-9). Now, about seven years later he is present with Paul in Corinth, possibly as one of the Macedonian representatives accompanying the financial gifts the churches in his region had collected for the poor in Jerusalem (Ro 15:25-27; 2Co 8:1-5, 18-22; 9:3, 4). If so, the next person he names, Sosipater, is very likely the “Sopater of Berea” mentioned in Acts 20:4. If so, he is present as another Macedonian representative accompanying the financial gift. Paul calls these three men (Lucius, Jason and Sosipater) “my kinsmen” meaning they are Jews.
Tuesday: Romans 16:22
v22: Paul didn’t actually write this letter himself. He dictated it to a stenographer, or what is technically called an “amanuensis”. That man’s name is Tertius which is Latin for the word “third”, and it’s not impossible that he is the older brother of Quartus (“fourth”) mentioned in the next verse (v23). This would help to explain Paul’s odd choice of words when he simply refers to Quartus as “the brother”. It is also interesting to note that there is a man named Secundus (“second”) from Thessalonica whom Luke places in this same group accompanying Paul to Jerusalem (Ac 20:4). In that reference he also lists Sopater and Timothy, two men named here (v21). We’re left to wonder if these three men had an older brother named Primus (“first”).
Wednesday: Romans 16:23
v23: While in Corinth Paul is staying with a man named Gaius whose home also serves as a gathering place for the whole church. He is almost certainly one of Paul’s earliest converts in that city and someone whom Paul personally baptized (1Co 1:14). Romans typically had three names, so this may be the same person Luke refers to in Acts 18:7 as Titius Justus. He was a God-fearing Gentile who lived next to the synagogue and who invited Paul to stay in his home during the year and a half he pastored in Corinth (Ac 18:11). If so, the man’s full name would be Gaius Titius Justus (F.F. Bruce, In the Steps of the Apostle Paul, Kregel, 1995, p. 43).
Thursday: Romans 16:23
v23: (continued): In Acts, Luke mentions that a man named Erastus left Ephesus with Timothy to go on a mission to Macedonia (northern Greece) (Ac 19:22), and that trip may well have ended up in Corinth (1Co 4:17; Paul’s letter, 1 Corinthians, was written from Ephesus around the same time as that mission mentioned in Acts). This same man is also mentioned in Paul’s second letter to Timothy (2Ti 4:20) and he is again connected to the city of Corinth. It is not possible to determine whether or not that person is the same Erastus Paul mentions here, but the man Paul greets has risen to the position of city treasurer. That there was around this time (AD 57-58) an official named Erastus in Corinth has been confirmed by an archaeological discovery in 1929. A pavement stone was found at Corinth with an inscription which mentions Erastus by name. It says, “Erastus laid this pavement at his own expense in appreciation of his aedileship (curator of public buildings)” (F.F. Bruce, In the Steps of the Apostle Paul, Kregel, 1995, p. 43).
Friday: Romans 16:25-26
vs25-26: Having completed his letter to Rome, Paul kneels before the Father to pray for those who will read his letter (Eph 3:14-21). He commits us to the power and wisdom of God, confident that God will use the truths he has presented to cause us to stand firm in our salvation (Ac 20:32). By the phrase “my gospel” he means God’s plan of salvation as he explained it, rather than as the false teachers (vs17-20) were trying to explain it. It’s the good news that God’s righteousness cannot be earned, but rather is given as a gift to those who repent and believe (Ro 10:8-13). And now that Jesus Christ has been revealed our preaching and faith are focused on Him (Ro 1:1-4).
Saturday: Romans 16:25-27
vs25-27 (continued): He is the Savior about whom the prophets wrote, but for hundreds of years no one understood what they meant (1Pe 1:10-13; Heb 1:1, 2). Now, says Paul, this season of “silence” has ended because God has commanded that this ancient mystery be revealed, not only to Israel, but to all Gentile nations so that they too might become obedient to Christ by faith (Ro 1:5; 2:13-16). v27: In this prayer Paul commits us not only to the power of God, but also to the wisdom of God. He places us in the hands of “the only wise God” whose wisdom is so great it cannot be comprehended by the fallen human mind (1Co 1:18-25; 2:14, 15). And because God designed the gospel, Paul is confident it is able to save us. God knew what needed to be done in order to rescue weak people like us. His wisdom sent His Son, Jesus, the Messiah. Then in his final statement Paul declares that because of all of this God is worthy to be glorified to the end of the present age and through all of the new eternal age which follows. The final word he adds is “Amen,” which is a one-word prayer meaning “I pray this will be so!”