December 6, 2018

Who Is Phoebe?

Romans 16:1–2

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Personal Greetings

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant1 of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.


[1] 16:1 Or deaconess

Who Is Phoebe?

Bio | Brooke Benedict


Hey, y'all! My name is Brooke Benedict. The Lord came crashing into my life four years ago through The Porch, Watermark's young adult ministry, and He has radically changed my life. I love serving at The Porch and Wake, Watermark's junior high ministry. I also love getting to know people, reciting random facts, and asking silly questions. A favorite game of mine is two truths and a lie:

  1. I am a native Texan. 
  2. I received a kidney transplant three years ago. 
  3. I am an avid Polka Fest attendee. 


Central Truth

When we are willing to step out of our comfort zone and take risks for God's glory, we get to play a role in seeing the gospel spread. 

Devotional | Romans 16:1–2

As someone who always has a million questions, here are just a few of mine after reading this.

Who is Phoebe, and why does Paul commend her?

Phoebe was a faithful servant of the church of Cenchreae, which served as...

As someone who always has a million questions, here are just a few of mine after reading this.

Who is Phoebe, and why does Paul commend her?

Phoebe was a faithful servant of the church of Cenchreae, which served as the eastern seaport for Corinth. Even though Paul goes on to greet other members of the church with words of appreciation, he goes beyond standard greetings to commend/endorse Phoebe. Paul believes Phoebe to be worthy of his confidence based on her devotion to the Lord and her kindness to others. Paul has entrusted Phoebe to deliver his message to the church in Rome.

I don't know about you, but I can become skittish walking to my car at night. Phoebe would have traveled close to 750 miles to reach Rome. Paul doesn't mention her traveling with a companion, husband, or family member. That is a lot of trust from Paul and a lot of grit from Phoebe.

Why does Paul speak so highly of her?

You don't see a long list of Phoebe's accomplishments, hear her toot her own horn, or grumble about what she will leave behind because she has been entrusted with the task of delivering the gospel. You do see that she has been a servant to the church, a supporter of many, and a great help to Paul. Phoebe used her ability to travel to deliver this crucial letter to Rome when Paul was unable to do so himself. She used her time and resources to assist others to further the gospel! No wonder she was someone whom Paul did ministry with. I want to be more like her!

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Discussion Questions

1. What is holding you back from taking risks for the Lord?

2. What would you be leaving behind, and what are you moving toward?

3. What risks have you felt the Lord nudging/calling you toward?

4. Whom can you lock arms with to move toward godly risk?

5. What are some small or large steps you can take today toward godly risk?

9 Comments available

Michael Scaman 6 months ago

Phoebe was ‘Patron to many’ and to be welcomed in a manner “worthy of the saints.” She had the heart of a servant with or without the title.

Paul seems to greet a large list of people and manage to say something special about each.

Michael Scaman 6 months ago

The personal touches here are important.

Phoebe who is the lead off person mentioned may be the person delivering the letter of Roman’s to Rome

Tertius ( aka Trey ), Paul’s writer secretary, pops into the letter and says Hi!

greg jones 6 months ago

Who is Phoebe?

First guess. Sort of a dingy blond with friends who have names like Monica, Rachel, Ross, and Chandler who gets saved and serious then walks a letter to Rome. Maybe.

After more thought. It could be Phoebe is someone who needs Paul’s extra endorsement when meeting someone for the first time. Maybe Phoebe’s super power that enables her to make the dangerous trip is an ability to be shunned at first sight and still do what is necessary to move on. It could be Phoebe has never known what it is to leave much. She might define the sum of her life by what she has been denied, and who she has been forsaken by.

Who is Phoebe?..Who am I? Have I ever loved the letter and then used it to reject the rejected?

Fairytales always have happy endings, my Bible doesn’t.

Linda Green 6 months ago

Love question two “…and what would you be moving towards?”

Thanks for applying your inquiring mind to God’s Word!

Ronnie Oldfield 6 months ago

Taking risks for the Lord answer is a matter of perspective. What one might view as “risky” another might view as just another day of life. Anyone who speaks up for Christ (and his teachings) assumes risk. They more a person proclaims the power of the Gospel is the solution to a problem the more risk they accept. This is a great season for me to raise my risk tolerance. How much of me am I willing to put at risk. God doesn’t need my money. He needs me to more boldly proclaim the power of the Gospel more often to more people. For goodness sake, the party advocating for the execution of a million babies a year swept into power in Dallas County. I should have no problem finding people and places to share truth with. Will I??

Sue Bohlin 6 months ago

Thanks Brooke! I’m encouraged by Paul recording Phoebe’s contribution to building the church at a time when women were not valued as equals to men. This is another step in how Christianity changed the world by shifting people’s beliefs and values.

Hope Harris 6 months ago

In response to your last question.

I am finishing out the final chapter and epilogue of my book Flipped over the next 10 days or so. Many JTJers have prayed and encouraged me along the way.

I am submitting the first half to be reviewed by a publisher early next week

If you want to follow my next steps in ministry I invite you to join my prayer team. Email me at

Grateful for the major impact JTJ has had on my life!

Lindsey Driscoll 6 months ago

Sweet Brooke, it is so good to see your writing on the Journey today friend! I don’t know about those Polka festivals though.

Q4 - Whom can you lock arms with to share the gospel? Great question. My husband Steve and I talk often about sending others through financial gifts, but we are constantly looking for ways God’s time and money in our lives to be used for the kingdom. Today I pray for the Phoebes that I support who model boldness for the kingdom that I desire.

Hugh Stephenson 6 months ago

I know Phoebe. I know lots of Phoebes. We have many of them at Watermark. It been amazing to see so many women fearlessly lead and serve us, speak truth and make huge sacrifices. Of course, my favorite Phoebe is Amy, my Proverbs 31 wife.

For Paul’s Phoebe, its hard for me to envision the risks she took in such a journey. Surely perilous for a woman at that time.

What risks would I take for Him? Would I bear a snake bite? Beatings? Condemnation of others?

Would I risk the loss of a major client? What if I was required to sign some statement that I opposed and that caused me to be ostracized?

I know of many people who are taking huge risks by working for the gospel in dangerous places. If God called me to do that how would I respond?

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