21 Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you. 22 I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother.
Now we come to the second list of names in Romans 16. These people were with Paul in Corinth, where he wrote Romans. Paul stayed in the house of a nobleman named Gaius, a Christian. Gaius provided Paul with a secretary by the name of Tertius, an amanuensis who wrote what Paul told him.
Timothy, my fellow worker,
Timothy was a constant companion with Paul, his protégé. He was with Paul from Lystra on the second missionary expansion. His father was Greek but his mother Jewish. He was strategic in ministering to Gentile churches, which he and Paul founded.
Ph 2: 20 For I [Paul] have no one like-minded, who [Timothy] will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.
and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen [Jews], greet you.
Paul sent greetings not only from Timothy but from Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater—fellow Jews. We know nothing about these people other than what is in this verse.
Sosipater was probably the Sopater mentioned in Berea (Ac 20:4). Jason might have been Paul’s host in Thessalonica (Ac 17:1-7). Lucius might have been a leader in the church at Antioch (Ac 13:1). These men were probably a group preparing to go to Rome.
I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle,
Tertius wrote what Paul dictated about the book of Romans. This is not to say that inspiration was by dictation but only that Tertius took dictation. Paul did not receive but passed on Romans by dictation. Tertius was Paul’s stenographer.
The name of Tertius means three. Quartus, found in the next verse, means four. These numbers represent slave names.
greet you in the Lord.
The person who put the words of Romans on paper sent his greetings to the church as well. He did this as service to the Lord. Nothing we do for the Lord is menial.
Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you.
Paul specified Gaius as his host while in Corinth. Gaius, a common name, was not the Gaius of Acts 20:4. He was probably a wealthy person in Corinth and the person Paul baptized (1 Co 1:14). He might have been one of the first converts of Corinth.
The phrase “host of the whole” church means that the local church met in Gaius’s spacious home. All churches met in homes as there were no church buildings at this time in church history.
Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you,
Erastus was an elected official, director of public works, in Corinth. He was the Erastus of 2 Timothy 4:20 who “stayed in Corinth.”
and Quartus, a brother.
On a human level, it appears that Quartus (slave number four) was the least significant slave of those mentioned in the chapter to this point.
Fellowship in the first century included the rich and poor, those with and without rank.
Brotherhood was a reality in the first-century church, which ignored differences of social status. Both master and slave, Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, those with rank and those without rank fellowshipped together. For Quartus, the number-four slave, to send his greeting is a challenge to any prejudice one might find in the church today.
Each person in this list served the Lord with what he had. All God expects of us is to do what we can with what we have. The wealthy Gaius opened his home for anyone to fellowship with him. Erastus served the Lord as a public official in an important city of the world. Tertius, a slave entirely without status, served the Lord by writing down Romans for Paul.