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By Karl C. Priest February 22, 2017 (revised 4-16-18)

What do you think of when you hear the name “Rufus”? A backwoods bumpkin? Rufus the Redneck?

According to the Apostle Paul, a man named Rufus was “chosen in the Lord”. Matthew Henry said Rufus was “a choice Christian, whose gifts and graces evinced that he was eternally chosen in Christ Jesus. He was one of a thousand for integrity and holiness.” (

Chapter 16 of the book of Romans lists several saints who are little known if at all.

Paul commended Phebeas “a servant of the church” and he instructed the Christians in Rome to “receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.”

Somewhat more familiar were Priscilla and Aquila whom he described as his “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.” They also hosted a house church.

Romans is the only book where Paul called for “salutes” to be given to specific Believers. Salute means “to address with expressions of kind wishes, courtesy, or honor.” ( In the Greek, salute means to “bid welcome, wish well to, receive.” (http://www.apostolic-churches. net/bible/strongs/ref/?stgh=greek&stnm=782)

Paul told the Roman Christians to “salute Rufus.” Also, Paul requested salutes to “my wellbeloved Epaenetus” who was one of the first to become a Christian in an area of Greece. Other salutes were to go to “them which are of Aristobulus' household, Herodionmy kinsman, Urbane our helper in Christ, Stachys my beloved, Apelles approved in Christ, Tryphena and Tryphosa who labour in the Lord, and the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord. Another salute was requested for his relatives Andronicus and Juniawho also had been imprisoned with Paul. He said that they had been saved before him and “are of note among the apostles.” Paul also wanted the mother of Rufus, who Paul felt close enough to call his own mother, to be saluted.

He mentioned a woman named Mary “who bestowed much labour on us.”

Paul wanted Amplias, his “beloved in the Lord”, to be greeted in Rome and also called for a greeting for “them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord.”

More salutes were to go to “Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.” Also to be saluted were “Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.”

To the Romans he sent salutes from “Timotheus my workfellow”, Lucius, Jason, “Sosipater my kinsmen”, “Quartus a brother”, “Erastus the chamberlain of the city,” and “Gaius mine host.” He told the Roman brethren that “the whole church, saluteth you.”

Since Paul’s writing ability was lacking he had some of his letters physically written by others. This was prepared by Tertius who saluted the Romans “in the Lord.”

We know of the Old Testament heroes-- Jacob, Moses, Samuel, and Miriam. Then come the well-known names in the New Testament such as James, Mark, Stephen, and Mary. However, Rufus and his local believers also deserve a place of honor among the biblical saints.

For those of us who are not, what might be considered “big time Christians”, be assured that Jesus has already mentioned and commended us to the angels. Also, Jesus will call the angels to greet and salute us some day. That will be wonderful, but it will also be so sweet for us to salute Rufus and the others mentioned in Romans 16.


Sort of on this subject is the boy (lad) in John 6:9 who had “five barley loaves, and two small fishes.”