New International Version
21 Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. 22 All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
How long would it take to greet every saint in Christ Jesus? For Paul in the first century AD, not too long perhaps; for us 20 centuries later, considerably longer. Who are the saints Paul is talking about? Just normal people like you and me – except not so normal, in that they, and we, believe in Christ Jesus. And that is who Paul means, all those who believe in Christ Jesus. Do you think of yourself as a saint?
In these days of on-line worship we do tend to greet everyone in a way that we might not when meeting at the church building – we see all the faces on the screen at the same time and we can all greet each person as they ‘join’ the meeting rather than just the person on welcome duty have that opportunity. Will we continue to do that when we do meet in the church again?
It is interesting to see that while Paul was being kept in prison in Rome, he knew that even in Caesar’s own household people were being convicted and converted so there were believers within the ermperor’s own house. Amazing – one wonders how they managed to keep their jobs! Perhaps through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And so Paul draws this letter to a close as he does most of his letters, blessing the readers at Philippi with the wish or hope that they will all know Christ within them and be able to show that grace to all who meet them.