Will Graham spoke to college students at his alma mater, Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia, on Wednesday.
“If you were recorded in history, how would you want to be known?” asked Will Graham, who graduated in 1997. He is the third member of the Graham family to speak during the university’s convocation this year.
Talking about the significance of individual lives, Graham honed in on the life of one man mentioned in only one verse of the Bible: “I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord” (Romans 16:11).
With a passion for digging deep into the Word of God, Graham considers every detail to be important. He shared that although Tertius is mentioned just this one time, there’s something to learn from him.
He shared the Greek meaning of Tertius’ name—”third”—explaining its dual significance. It symbolized how he was third in line when writing down Paul’s letter to the Romans. Tertius transcribed Paul’s words to churches in Rome when the apostle’s eyesight was fading, meaning he served under God Himself, as well as Paul.
God used Tertius to continue carrying out the Gospel message through one of the most influential books of the Bible, just as He can use humble people who are willing to serve Him, Graham said.
“Tertius saw this as a God-given opportunity, a sacred moment in time … and he wasn’t about to waste it,” Graham said. “He had no agenda except to be faithful in doing what Paul asked for [him to do]. He accepted his supporting role with faith and maturity … and all of history remembers his one act, his one moment in history, to faithfully write down one of the most important books in all of the New Testament.”
Because Tertius prepared himself with supplies and a steady work ethic, he was able to complete God’s assignment and sit directly under Paul’s teaching—which focused on the redemptive work of Christ.
In conclusion, Graham encouraged students to “be faithful in the little things,” as sometimes the seemingly smallest roles can have the greatest impact in God’s kingdom.
“It’s not about being No. 1 because you’ll never be No. 1—God is No. 1,” he said. “So I want to encourage you to be that faithful third. When we are faithful in those things, we’ll get the honorable mention by God Himself when He says, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.’”