William Andrew Dillard
It gives one pause to think that some of the grandest deeds mentioned in the Bible do not carry with them proper names of those who did them. On the other hand, a number of proper names are given without much if any detail of what they did except in a general way. Could it possibly be that such is another way of underscoring that any worthwhile thing done in the sight of God is actually attributable to God rather than the human instrument? Could it also be that the mention of many proper names without detail of what they did is another way of the Bible underscoring the importance of the individual being dedicated to God, and to the things of God so that they forever share in the blessings of dedicated discipleship?
Truly, one cannot be held responsible for living in a day of smaller things. But every person in every age is accountable to God for how he is faithful in that to which he has access.
It is in this line of thought that the following host of proper names are brought forth for consideration.
Gaius, Erastus, Quartus, Tertius, Sosipater, Jason, Lucius, Timotheus, Olympas, Nereus, Julia, Philologus, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, Phlegon, Asyncritus, Rufus, Persis, Tryphosa, Tryphena, Harcissus, Herodion, Aristobulus, Apelles, Stachys, Urbane, Amplias, Junia, Andronicus, Mary, Epaenetus, Aquila, Priscilla, and Phebe.
Aside from being somewhat difficult to pronounce, most of them are also foreign to a great many Bible readers. But there they are, penned into the eternal Word of God. They are noted specifically as being helpers or blessings in other forms to the apostle Paul. This may be found in Romans 16. Moreover, the brief paragraph of names is far from inclusive of all whose names may be found in the divine sixty-six books.
However, that these are there shouts loudly to all of God’s people of covenant down through the age of names that are not known to us, but names that are well known to God. The role of their kind has swollen the magnificent books of life, and nothing could be more humbly rewarding than that names of modern saints should continue to swell those pages.
To believe what God has said, and to walk within the constraints of that belief is of far greater value than most people realize. The host of folks that ran through the mind of the apostle Paul as he neared the finish line of his course brought him thankfulness and joy. They blessed the apostle, and they were a blessing to one another in the sweet fellowship of God’s work, and folks, that is so right!
William Andrew Dillard