The list of greetings at the end of Romans is by far the longest of any of his letters. Paul mentions 36 people, two households and three house churches. Many of the named people were women.
Phoebe, a deacon in the church in Cenchreae (near Corinth), carried Paulís letter to Rome and Paul describes her as a great help to many, including him.
Priscilla and her husband went to Ephesus with Paul, where they helped Apollos, before returning to live in Rome. They had a house church in their home.
Rufusí mother was so important to Paul that he notes she was like a mother to him too. There are also several other women who Paul says have worked very hard for the Lord.
We donít hear as much in the Bible from women as we do from men, but that shouldnít lead us to think that women werenít serving God throughout history. Here we can see that women are active in the church in a number of different ways, from hosting house churches and serving as deacons, to extending the hospitality of their mothering to those who need it.
Not only did Paul know these women, but he appreciated them enough to include them in his list of greetings. It might surprise us to realise that it was a women who was given the arduous task of transporting Paulís letter hundreds of miles to its destination, yet Paul obviously placed his trust in Phoebe, believing that she would be able to complete the task, and his trust was evidently not misplaced.