Who is Phoebe and who does she belong to? In short, Phoebe was a New Testament woman of God who served and taught the church, and regarded as a sister to many. However, there’s more to it.
The bible only ever mentions her name once so there’s not a whole lot we know about Phoebe. But we know what Paul says about her, and we know the outcome of her work in Corinth. In just two verses, Paul mentions her and describes her with the highest of compliments.
“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. 2 Welcome her in the Lord as one who is worthy of honor among God’s people. Help her in whatever she needs, for she has been helpful to many, and especially to me.” Romans 16:1-2
Paul regards Phoebe as his and the church’s sister, a deacon, and someone who serves whenever needed. Some translations use the word succourer which means: “someone who gives help in times of need or distress or difficulty.” Others use the word benefactor meaning: “a person who gives money or other help to a person or cause,” according to google dictionary. Either way, Paul paints a picture of Phoebe as a selfless servant of many including himself.
The Church of Corinth
The church of Corinth struggled with a lot. Paul’s letters to the Corinth church were ones of edification. The Corinthians were divided and struggled to stay separate from pagan culture. Paul began to write his letters to the church of Corinth in prison, and needed people to bare those letters and read them to the churches. Phoebe is the one he chose to bare his letters to this divided church. I think we know a divided church is a tough one to handle. Theological disagreements can be the destruction of a church.
Can You Imagine?
Paul entrusted Phoebe as a bearer of the epistle. Can you imagine being chosen or allowed to be the bearer of letters to a church written by a man who saw the resurrected Jesus? You know she had to have been a strong Godly woman who was confident in not just herself but in the God she served. The bravery and boldness it must have taken to stand in front of the church of Corinth. Her character stood out to him and is what he thought a divided church needed. I’m honored to simply serve in our local church, but to be chosen in those days to be a warrior for Christ says a lot. She, a woman of faith, took on something much bigger than herself for the benefit of others. In those days, you would be brutally killed for just being a christian.
Granted there are many people today who do this very thing. People in China, Russia, Iran and various other countries are being killed and arrested for spreading the Gospel. Even so, His word is spread and souls get saved.
However, here in America, things are much more easy. We have religious freedom, and those rights are protected by our government. To think of the things the early church endured really humbles me.
My hope is to be this committed to the Gospel. I long to become such a sister, servant, and teacher. This is what this blog is about. Being an encourager, a helper, a servant, and a teacher. Jesus taught the ones who were the outcasts.
I don’t aim to help those who already have help. My aim is to encourage the woman who doesn’t have anyone to talk to about infertility, or the woman who feels she’s the only one who struggles to keep her home clean. I strive to be a sister to those women who feel they can’t succeed because they are a woman, and teach them the Gospel that saved me. I’m on this earth to teach the Gospel, in any way God presses on my heart to to so. Just like Phoebe. Servant of God. Sister to many. Teacher of the Gospel.
If you enjoyed this snippet, please leave your feedback in a comment blow. I’d love to hear from you!
For more info about what God thinks of women, check out my blog post about “What is true Feminism?”
His Phoebe T-shirtProduct on sale