Paul closes his letter to the Romans with greetings to a list of people. On Paul’s list is a man named Apelles. “Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test.” [Romans 16:10 NIV]
Not much is known about Apelles, but what we can glean from this short greeting is amazing. His name, Apelles, means “called.” At some time, Apelles heard the call of Christ in salvation and responded. We also can glean that he was known to Paul. Their paths of ministry crossed at some point and Paul now sends his greetings.
There are two other notable things we know about Apelles. We know he was tested. We can only imagine what that testing was. The very fact that Paul, who was grievously tested throughout his ministry made note of it, implies that Apelles may have faced something quite severe.
The second thing we know is that Apelles stood faithful to his Lord in the testing … his “fidelity to Christ has stood the test.”
That is high commendation coming from such a one as Paul the Apostle. That is praise any of us would love to have … called, tested, and found faithful.
I can’t wait to meet Apelles around the throne and hear “the rest of the story!”
Father God, may you find us faithful in whatever test we face for the name and glory of Christ Jesus. Amen