Have you ever been complimented on having beautiful feet? I would suggest that most of us would not regard our feet as the nicest part of our body. Yes, we wash them, trim them, keep them in good shape, but beautiful – not really!
Yet Paul compliments people on having beautiful feet. It wasn’t that the feet themselves were such nice looking feet – it was what the feet did. Notice what he said.
“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ But how are they to 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” (Romans 10:13-17 ESV).
This is really not a text about having beautiful feet as much as it is emphasizing the need to obey the good news of Jesus. In verse 13 Paul quoted from the Old Testament: “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32). But that presents us with a logical problem: “But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed?” Good question. Why would we want to call on and follow someone we didn’t believe in the first place.
But there is still a more basic question: “And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?” How can we believe in someone we’ve never heard about. Very good question. So Paul gives the answer: “And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” How can someone know anything about Jesus if no one tells them.
Notice the progression: there is no salvation without belief. There can be no belief without the knowledge about Jesus. People will not know about Jesus unless someone tells them. Then there is one final point: “And how are they to preach unless they are sent?”
Unless Christians plan to take the gospel to the world and actually send people to proclaim Jesus, the world will never hear about him. Granted not everyone will believe – to show this Paul quotes from Isaiah 53:1. But there is only one way people can develop faith in Jesus and that is through hearing, and specifically through hearing the word of Christ.
That is why some people have beautiful feet. “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Their feet are beautiful because they are being used to find people who need to know about Jesus.
No matter where we live, we are surrounded by people who do not know Jesus. Yes, they have undoubtedly been told a few things about him, but they really do not know Jesus. We have feet. We have God’s word. Do we care enough to find them and bring to them the word of Christ?
How beautiful are our feet?
Readings for next week:
23 March – Romans 15
24 March – Romans 16
25 March – 1 Thessalonians 1
26 March – 1 Thessalonians 2
27 March – 1 Thessalonians 3