Beautiful Feet/ Romans 10:5-15

In Romans 10, Paul writes about the Jews.  Many people throughout the history of Christianity have used Paul’s  words to persecute, and often assassinate, Jews.  The thing they don’t take into account is that, to Paul, everybody’s a Jew.  Paul used the word “Jew” to describe practicing Jews who did not accept Christ as the messiah, Jews who did accept Christ as the messiah, and Gentiles (or any other “non Jews”) who accepted Christ.  Since everybody in Paul’s realm was one of the three (or perfectly capable of being), that’s everybody.  In his really useful 2006 book What Paul Meant, historian and writer Garry Wills said, “How the original Jews and the honorary ones will be united at the climax of time is a mystery Paul leaves to God for accomplishment… He does not know how the promise will be fulfilled, only that it will be, since God is the promiser.”  In other words, the fix is in.  Those who live in the wake of Christ’s resurrection (that,too, is everybody), have no cause for a holy war, or any kind of attack upon those of another or differing or slightly differing or not differing in any wise other that nomenclature religion.  Here’s how Paul puts it in verse 12: “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, the same Lord is Lord of all, and richly blesses all who call on him…”  What does it take to call on the Lord?  Sometimes desperation, sometimes humility, sometimes faith, but always it means an openness to the possibility that a spiritual force called God calls us to be forgiven and to love.  If the openness leads to perception, the person has already been saved.  The person (of any tribe) has already been saved anyway, but often the perception that leads to understanding is lacking.  People run around and call that lacking part a state of sin, but it only takes a moment of openness to get rid of it.  This is good news of liberation indeed, and, in a comment that pointed to the perfection of his own feet and the feet of many others, Paul reflected (in verse 15) an expression of the prophet Isaiah, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news,” referring to those who came to inform the Jews that their Babylonian captivity had come to an end.

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