For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”
But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”
Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”
But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
Obstinate and disobedient is probably not where we want to find ourselves! This passage speaks quite clearly to the charge given the believer. We are not told to remake unbelievers into good people (like ourselves?…hmmm) We are not told to intimidate with fear (of death or hell?) or manipulate with scripture (the Word says…). Change in individuals comes by the work of the Holy Spirit. We are given a charge to share the message. That’s it! Short, simple, sweet.
“…So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. …”
We can do this by our words, our lives, our actions, our reactions. We can be. Seeing to our own relationship, that it is as the Lord requires will be a message in itself as we live the believer’s life. Do we see an absence of judging here? Yet that is the most common complaint voiced against Christians from the unbelieving world. Preaching implies speaking. Speaking can be verbal but it can also be non-verbal. What do those who cross our paths daily hear and see? Is it Christ? Is our voice “going out?” Can those who do not believe hear the message delivered by us? Be assured they hear a message, is it the word of Christ? It has been said: “Wherever you go preach the gospel. If necessary use words.” – St. Francis of Assisi
May it be said of us:
“…”How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” …”