February 22, 2021 – Monday
Romans 10:14-15 NIV
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” [Isaiah 52:7]
Friday, we finished with verse 13 and today we are continuing with verses 14-15 above. Note we have shifted back to the NIV from the EHV. Here the NIV has all the quotes from Old Testament scripture captured accurately when checked via the Biblegateway.com.
Reading verse 14 above we should be asking ourselves, who is Paul talking about? Who are those that he would ask, How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? Paul is writing about those who do not believe in the gospel of Jesus. They have been told of His ability to grant salvation, but they do not believe and refuse to accept Him as the Son of God, thus they deny themselves the Grace His Father offers through His Son’s sacrifice on the cross. Paul adds, And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Oh, they have heard, but with hearts so hardened Paul’s preaching does not penetrate their hearts. Still Paul preaches to Gentile and Jew alike and this is part of the problem for those who think and believe salvation is theirs by birth – being children of Abraham. They refuse to accept the teaching of their own scripture from the Old Testament which Paul mentioned earlier, Joel 2:32, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved and Isaiah 28:16, Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.
Then Paul writes in verse 15, And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Trying to make sense of this I turned to the Benson Commentary and found St. Paul probably intended to intimate, that as the apostles, and other first ministers of the gospel, were originally Jews, their own prejudices on this head were so strong, that they never would have thought of carrying the gospel to the Gentiles if God had not particularly charged them to do it; especially as its avowed opposition to the idolatry and the other vices which reigned in the Gentile countries, could not but expose them, more or less, to persecution in various forms, wherever they came and attempted to preach it. So, we see here Paul is still trying to overcome the prejudices of the Jews against Jesus by showing how it is only Jews (at least initially) bringing the good news of Jesus to Jew and Gentile alike.
On the quote at the end of verse 15 from Isaiah 52:7, Benson first writes, The gospel, which shows the way how peace is made between God and man and then quotes Macknight who wrote,. The figure here applied by Isaiah “is extremely proper. The feet of those who travel through dirty or dusty roads are a sight naturally disagreeable: but when they are thus disfigured by travelling a long journey, to bring good tidings of peace and deliverance to those who have been oppressed by their enemies, they appear beautiful.” Two things, first I had never thought of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as a way of making peace between God and man, but it is very fitting. Next, I agree fully with Mackinght that no matter how someone appears, when they bring good tidings of peace and deliverance to those who have been oppressed by their enemies, they appear beautiful as they are bringing such beautiful news with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul continues making argument that Jews should listen to the good news by quoting more from Jewish scripture. 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” [Isaiah 53:1] 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” [Psalm 19:4] 19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.” [Deuteronomy 32:21] 20 And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.” [Isaiah 65:1] 21 But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” [Isaiah 65:2]
I am humbled by Paul’s constant preaching to Jew and Gentile alike while using his clear understanding of Old Testament scripture to show that Jesus was intended for everyone, Jew and Gentile alike. He never quits and is always writing out of his love for the gospel and how its purpose for all of mankind. This is how we should preach even today on how God’s message of salvation is for everyone. We should never forget every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Thank You for making it so clear Your gift of salvation is meant for everyone. Let me always remember that and never take some kind of false pride in having received the gift of eternal life which I did not earn or deserve. For Jesus died for my sins while I was yet a sinner (Romans 5:8). – In Jesus name. Amen.