The good news is not just good news, its great news. The nuance of the Greek for the word gospel literally means that this news is 'almost too good to be true'. In our world when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. But this is not the case with the gospel of Jesus Christ. This news is true and incredible. And Paul reminds us that beautiful are the feet of those who bring this good news and announce it to the world.
Throughout the book of Romans, Paul refers to the gospel as his gospel. This is because this revelation came directly to him by Jesus. He said in Galatians, "I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ" ( Galatians 1:11-12 ). Paul wrote so extensively about the gift of God's grace offered to mankind through the person of Jesus Christ that he claimed this gospel as his own. He lived and breathed this message because it was the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes ( Romans 1:16 ). Paul was set apart, called and ordained to be a minister of the gospel by the will of God. This is an amazing thing when you realize that before his conversion he literally hunted and killed Christians. He considered himself the chief of sinners but after he experienced God's incredible grace and mercy he knew that this good news wasn't too good to be true, that is why he said "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" ( Romans 10:13 ).
In today's passage Paul is reminding us that this news has to be passed on and received before its power is released. People cannot look to Jesus for eternal life if they don't believe in him. They can't believe in him unless they have heard about him and they can't hear about him unless someone tells them. People need to be sent before anyone can call upon the name of the Lord and find salvation. This may seem like a quandary but to use a baseball metaphor; the bases are loaded. God has sent messengers of the gospel forth to preach the good news throughout the entire world. We merely have to step up to the plate and start swinging.
The first thing to consider is that this gospel message originated with God. John said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" ( John 3:16-17 ). God sent his Son Jesus to save the world. This is the good news for which Paul was in chains. God initiated and provided the means whereby we can be reconciled to him. Sin stood in the way, but God sent Jesus to bridge the gap. Paul said in Corinthians, "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation" ( II Corinthians 5:18-19 ). God was the one speaking peace over the world through the blood of Christ. He sent Jesus to save the world. His feet were beautiful!
Secondly, after Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and was raised again to life to secure our justification before God, he then turned around and sent us to spread this message of reconciliation. We call this the great commission. "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." ( Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18 ). He won back all the authority and power that was transferred to Satan in the fall, and look what he did, He gave it back to us. He commissioned us to be the beautiful feet that preached the good news around the world.
What an remarkable thing this is. God has entrusted us with the words of life. We have the power over death through the blood of Jesus and we have been equipped and assigned to share this wonderful news with the world. Paul said, this news was "the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" ( Romans 1:16 ). We are entrusted with an tremendous thing. God trusts and believes in us to fulfill this great commission. Isaiah said, "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" ( Isaiah 52:7 ). What an incredible thing to share with those around us. God's peace towards mankind, his love for us, his gift of grace and his overwhelming mercy. We have the words that bring life and Jesus has placed His faith in us to share it. Paul said, "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ" ( Romans 10:17 ). The Messiah of reconciliation came from the very lips of Christ himself. God was not holding mankind's sins against them and He came to bring us peace with God. It's almost too good to be true but the fact remains that it is true and God calls our feet beautiful because he has sent us to proclaim this message.
Like Paul, I know that this gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. I am a minister of this good news and I will proclaim it for the rest of my days. May you understand your calling in this wonderful plan of salvation. May you share the hope to which you were called. May your feet be beautiful, amen!