And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ (Romans 10: 16)
Between the years 597-587 B.C., the Babylonian army destroyed Jerusalem, sacked the temple, and took many of the Jewish leaders into exile.
This terrible time caused the Jews to ask many questions. How could God have allowed this to happen? Were they no longer God’s “chosen people?” Couldn’t God have prevented the temple from being destroyed? Were the Babylonian gods more powerful than the Lord? How could they be God’s people in a foreign land?
In the year 539 B.C., Cyrus the Persian defeated the Babylonians. He then issued a decree saying that all the exiled people living in Babylon could go home.
Although Jerusalem was a heap of ruins, sentinels had been posted on the ramparts of the rubble. Imagine their excitement when they saw people racing across the desert, screaming out, “We’re coming home. We’re free. No more exile.”
This is how Isaiah speaks about those who proclaimed this good news: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, rings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’” (Isaiah 52: 7).
Exile for the Jews was in Babylon. Exile for us isn’t in a country; it’s a condition. Freedom for the Jews meant that they could leave that foreign city and go home. Freedom for us isn’t from some foreign despot, but from the despotism of sin. We’re in exile and a long way from home anytime we try to live without God; anytime some addiction is running—ruining—our lives; anytime we get hijacked by anger, envy, anxiety, or fear.
Jesus had “pretty feet.” He came bearing the good news that our exile from God was over, that he had paid the price to set us free, and that His grace could bring us home.
Jesus had “pretty feet” because He came running to us to share the best news that has ever been proclaimed. Once we hear and accept that news, Jesus encourages us to share that same news with others. When we do so, our own feet will have become beautiful to another child of God.
- Your feet become beautiful when you bring good news. Your feet become ugly when you share bad news. Do you spend more time sharing good news or bad news? In other words, do you have pretty or ugly feet?
- Whatever good news you hear from Jesus—you are loved, forgiven, blessed—is news He wants you to share. Are you doing so? If so, how? If not, isn’t it time to begin?
- During your own times when you felt lost or exiled, who brought you hope, courage, strength, and peace? Do you know that the best way to thank them is to share what they gave to someone else?