Writing from Corinth, the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome in order to establish a relationship with them, as he had not yet been to the church. He chose to establish that relationship through his established relationships with those already in Rome.
Devoid of a Lucifer complex (Lucifer was the original Narcissist; the beautiful angel who believed he should have the same or higher glory than of God. There is no relationship to the Narcissus that Paul lists in this letter with the Narcissus of Greek Mythology, written by Ovid in 8AD), he made a public statement about the beloved people amongst them for whom he was grateful and eager for their good fellowship.
Paul created a network of loving relationships. The love Paul had for people oozes out of his epistles in many places. Yet, in this I am most compelled because he lists 27 people by name. And, there is something about someone putting a person’s name down in a permanent way that expresses that devotion like nothing else. He appealed to people the same way I believe I would plead with others to receive my own children. He loved his friends. There is the fruit. Paul loved deeply.
Now, Paul didn’t need to list, speak well of, and ask others to welcome the 27. He could have talked about himself alone. We tell people who we are by what we emphasize. The church wasn’t Paul. The church was comprised of all those who came together, with different and distinctive gifts, to give Glory to God by serving and knowing Him and by serving and knowing one another and the Word. And, that is the church, something wonderful by the spirit of God.
Romans 16:1-16 English Standard Version (ESV)
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. Greet Ampliatuss, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.