Romans 16:3-5 – “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.”
Paul was anxious for the Roman believers to welcome and accept the people he lists in this chapter. “Greet” and “salute” are derived from the same Greek word. In some contexts, it means a casual but friendly exchange, while other usages imply an embrace or kiss. It is always a sign of fellowship and respect, welcome and acceptance.
Paul worked closely with Priscilla and Aquila, developing his relationship with them. He wished to convey his trust in them to the Romans. Is there someone you have immediately liked and trusted, simply because they were close to someone you know and love? What barriers are removed by these connections? What is so important about Epaenetus being the firstfruits of Achaia? What does God have to say about firstfruits in Exodus and Leviticus? What do you learn about Epaenetus from Paul’s use of this term?