Beautiful Feet

“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!””
Romans 10:14-15 NLT

Just as a reminder, the previous verse in Romans 10 contained an Old Testament quote from the book of Joel. We read in 2:32a, “But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved …”. And Paul in his letter to the Roman Christians questions if this would be possible unless people know that there is a Lord, and what His name is. 

The world in Paul’s day was awash with different “gods”, all making claims through their followers for this or that benefit. And things haven’t changed in 21st Century Planet Earth. Of course, the traditional idol, a statue or similar made of stone, metal or wood, need not be present, but something just as significant will be. In today’s society it could be a leather ball kicked around by two teams of players. Or a small white ball that is knocked around an otherwise pleasant park. It could be a motor vehicle which can be seen being cared for with expensive products to keep it from contamination with the dust and grime around it. As an aside, a neighbour of mine restores old cars and he can be seen using his leisure time to make his own gods. Female film stars are sometimes referred to as “goddesses”, because of the way they look or act. The list is endless. Anything, any object, even people, can become a god. But there is only one true God, the Lord Himself.

In Paul’s day, the challenge was to convince people of the reality of God, the God who loves His creation and, through His grace and mercy, offers to restore the relationship with Him, the relationship that is integrated in the human DNA. And it is the same today. The incessant clamour of other gods so often prevails, crowding out the one true God. Pilgrims in Paul’s day, caught up with the excitement of having found the Lord, infected the people around them with their enthusiastic messages of hope, and so must we modern-day pilgrims, because, as Paul said, if we don’t communicate our faith, how will our workmates, friends and family ever know? 

How do we pilgrims go about being messengers with beautiful feet? It is a lovely word picture. Consider in a day a society without newspapers and the internet. No social media. No Facebook or YouTube. They got on with their lives largely ignorant of world affairs and even what was happening in the next town of village. But imaging the excitement of a messenger arriving one day, covered in dust from the journey, probably smelly and dirty, but who then told them an item of good news. Joel’s prophetic word called the feet of the messenger “beautiful” because of the news he brought. So do we pilgrims today have “beautiful feet”? Painting a picture of Good News with enthusiasm and excitement, positively affecting those around us? Raising the tone of conversations, elevating the mediocre into Heavenly places? We are in times that desperately need Good News. Over 90% of the news we are bombarded with from the various media outlets is anything but “good”.  Reports of wars, or famines. Social unrest. Nasty diseases. Crime and other forms of bad behaviour. Corrupt politicians and leaders. The list is seemingly endless and providing more than enough content for bad news. The journalists and “messengers” compete with each other to reach the bottom with their news reports. The more depraved, the better the scoop.

How zealous are we in sharing our faith? Do we hold back in case we offend or upset our listener? Do we question our role as a messenger, believing that this is the responsibility of the evangelists in our churches? Jesus told His disciples to make other disciples. We read in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age”. Jesus’s original disciples are long dead, but His instruction has rattled down generations of disciples right to the present day. We are the ones who are currently “sent” into our communities and workplaces. Our schools and colleges. Because unless we tell those around us they may never know about our wonderful Lord. Let’s re-examine our feet today. Do we see the broken nails, the corns or even bunions? Or do we see something beautiful, the part of us that God has ordained for bringing Good News? The generation around us desperately needs to hear about God and His grace. And we have been sent to tell them. There is a film called “Happy Feet”, but those feet won’t make a difference for eternity. Ours can.

Dear God. You have commissioned us to take the Good News to a world full of bad news. And the wonderful bonus in our sharing is that You are with us. Forever. Thank You. Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s