8 Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my countryman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.
Amplias was a common slave name.
my beloved in the Lord.
Paul had a special love for Amplias. He loved all Christians, but there were some for whom he had a particular love.
We know nothing of Urbanus other than this passage. This is another common slave name.
our fellow worker in Christ,
Urbanus was a worker with Paul in ministry. “Fellow worker” might mean that Urbanus was a fellow missionary with Paul.
This is another name of which we know nothing other than in this passage.
Paul loved many people and here is another person for whom he indicates a special love.
Another name of which we know nothing is Apelles.
approved in Christ.
We do know one fact about Apelles—he was “approved in Christ.” He went through a test and came out approved. The Greek word means to test for approval. Apelles was distinguished for a distinctive trait. He manifested strength of character under duress. He was a man of excellence, a person who was trustworthy. He faithfully carried out his responsibilities under an ordeal, a severe test of his faith.
Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus.
A “household” in the first century not only included the relatives but the slaves of a family. Paul sent special greetings to this household of Aristobulus. Some believe that Aristobulus might have been the grandson of Herod the Great.
Greet Herodion, my countryman [a Jew].
Here is another fellow Jew of the apostle Paul. “Herodion” is a derivative of the name Herod.
Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.
Narcissus was the name of a wealthy free man prominent under Claudius. Nero put him to death. Narcissus might have been in the family of Nero.
Paul sent greetings to the part of the family Narcissus who were born again—“who are in the Lord.”
God will test Christians in order to approve their character or ministry.
God will test believers in order to approve what we do. He wants to see how faithful we are to Him.
1 Co 4:2, Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
God will disqualify some for serving Him. He has standards whereby He will measure how our lives fit His economy.
1 Co 9:27, But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
In order for God to approve us we need to study to be approved by Him.
2 Ti 2:15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.