As Paul wraps up his second letter to his protégé Timothy, some of Paul’s associates add their greetings to his message. First, there is Eubulus and then Pudens, who is followed by Linus. The fourth person named is Claudia, the only female in the group. But at least she’s listed, for following her name comes to a general greeting from everybody else. This is the only verse any of these four people appear in, so we know nothing else about them.
Why does Paul name four people and only indirectly refer to the rest of his associates? One explanation is that the quartet is simply nearby as he wraps up his letter. However, it’s more likely they play a more critical role in the missionary work he leads. He recognizes their work by including their names in his letter, which is preserved for us to see today.
Claudia could be honored to be listed or she could be disappointed to appear fourth, but even so, she is listed. Others aren’t.
Sometimes, like Claudia, we receive public recognition for the work we do. Other times we are identified only indirectly as part of a team. Sometimes we receive no acknowledgment for our efforts whatsoever.
From a human perspective, this matters a lot. We could become proud for being listed, annoyed that we weren’t mentioned first, or angry that we received only a generic nod or no acknowledgment at all.
God’s perspective is quite different. He desires that we work for him, not for an earthly reward—be it money, fame, or recognition—but for a heavenly one. Our reward will occur later when he says, “Well done! You’re a good and faithful servant.” And that should be enough. That is enough.
Do we sometimes do godly things for human rewards? Do we feel slighted when no one acknowledges our work?
[Discover more about Claudia in 2 Timothy 4:21. Also, see Matthew 25:21.]
Read about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 700-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and numerous books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.