“And here come the L.A. Rams!”
The soon to be crowned 2022 Super Bowl champions paraded out of their locker room as a previously recorded video introduced the starting offensive, defensive, and special teams. After each player introduced themself, they named the college they attended. Whether it was the television network or the NFL, the decision was made to communicate this information to the millions of people viewing the annual contest. It made sense since this was a moment they all worked for their entire lives. Other identifying information like hometown or age was secondary. Most people would only be interested to know their athletic pedigree, which coaches helped to train and mold them.
When the Apostle Paul introduced himself to the readers of his letters, he could have presented his credentials as an esteemed member of the Pharisees, one of the ruling classes in Jewish society of that day. He could have stated that he was trained by Gamaliel, a leading Rabbi and well respected by all. Like knowing the college the professional football players attended, these would have all been important background information for any reader to know. Instead, Paul chose to introduce himself as slave and an apostle.
This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News.
Romans 1:1 (NLT)
When Paul introduced himself, all he was interested in communicating to his readers was his relationship to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He could not have chosen a more humble or demeaning title. There were over sixty million slaves throughout the Roman empire and slaves were considered property, not a person. By further identifying himself as an apostle, he was defining his identity to be entirely subjugated to the authority and commission of Jesus Christ, whom he had personally seen. Only an apostle could claim this title.
Paul wanted everyone to know that he was a slave to Jesus Christ and commissioned by God to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ. Professional athletes may identify themselves by the coaches and schools that trained them. Paul identified himself by the God who saved him.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.