Thought for Thursday

I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. Romans 16:22

Who is Tertius? This is the only time his name appears in the Bible. He had a huge responsibility; the apostle Paul dictated the large and critically important epistle to the Romans to Tertius. Everything else in the entire epistle was the inspiration by the Holy Spirit to Paul, who dictated to Tertius. But for one brief verse, today’s text, the Holy Spirit moved Tertius to write. As a helper or scribe for Paul, Tertius had a great privilege and responsibility, and he discharged his duties well. He was not an apostle, may not even have been a preacher, and was apparently unknown to most of the Christians in his day. His name indicates that he was of a Roman background, but there is nothing to indicate that he personally knew the people in Rome to whom the letter was written. But Tertius’ verse stands as evidence that he was willing to be a servant to Paul and to the furtherance of the Gospel.

If you had been in Tertius’ place, and were given permission to have a verse of your own in the Bible, what would you say? Would you seek to come up with something deep and profound, or something catchy and simple. We don’t get that opportunity, of course, but if we did, we could take a lesson from Tertius. He doesn’t seize the opportunity and interject some thought or idea of his own. All he does is identify himself as the secretary and pass on greetings. What Tertius is saying here is his full agreement with what Paul has written in the epistle and with Paul’s exercise that the Christians in Rome should receive the Word of God and be blessed by it. Just a simple and sincere greeting, with no effort to attract attention or commendation for himself. Just a humble helper for the great Apostle, with a willingness to do what he can to serve. Like Tertius, God has given us an opportunity to be a help to those who preach the Gospel and teach the Word. Like Tertius, God would have us to be supporters of those servants, giving all the assistance that we can.

No, we can’t be like the Apostle Paul. His role is no longer with us. But we can be a little like Tertius, even though we don’t get our verse in the Bible like he did – we can lovingly and helpfully support and uphold the preachers and teachers around us. -Jim MacIntosh

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