29 April 2016

Romans 15:14-21

"Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news, not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written, 'Those who have never been told of him shall see, and those who have never heard of him shall understand.'" (vv. 20-21)

Psalm: Psalm 82


In the letter to the Romans, the author Paul is talking about proclaiming the gospel (good news). The world in which he lived and worked to do this was different to ours. Wherever he travelled he met those who had literally never heard of Jesus.

Today things are different. Who in this country hasn't heard of Jesus? Everyone has some sort of opinion about Jesus, the Church, Christianity, or religion in general.

But ideas, even positive ideas, are not reality. They are a block, an illusion that stands between us and an encounter with what is real.

Our task is to really see and really understand both for ourselves, and so that we can help others to see and understand.

In a way many people with ideas of who Jesus is have never truly been told of him. They have been fed with images, or propaganda from one place or another. Often the God that people reject is not God at all, but an 'idea of God' that Christians wouldn't believe in either.

To really tell of Jesus is not to describe concepts, but to act out of the reality of selfless love.

So that, (if we rephrase Paul's words for today):

Those who have already been told of him shall really see.
Those who have already heard of him shall really understand.


To Ponder

  • How can we tell of Jesus in a way that gets past peoples' preconceived ideas?
  • What barriers do you have that stop you really understanding who Jesus is?

Bible notes author

Dave Webster

Dave Webster works for the Connexional Team as internet communications coordinator. He is responsible for this website and other internet-based projects for the Methodist Church.