“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15).
Let’s look more closely at this text. In the first part of this verse, it speaks of the sending of preachers. Man does not need to take an odyssey to some far away place, nor does man need to journey into the spirit realm to learn the Truth (Romans 10:6-7; Deuteronomy 30:11-13). God has sent forth inspired preachers to reveal the Truth of His will (Matthew 28:18-f; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 1:8; Acts 9:15). God made sure man had the opportunity to hear (cf. Romans 10:18). This is the context. Listen to brother Franklin Camp, he says, “The question Paul asked in Romans 10:15… was not ‘How shall one preach unless a church sends and supports him?’ He is speaking of chosen, selected ones commissioned by God and inspired to preach or proclaim the word of God. This kind of preaching had to do with receiving the revelation of God’s Word. Suppose Christ had not selected the twelve and endued them with the power of the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel? Who would have been able to call upon the name of the Lord?” (The Work Of The Holy Spirit In Redemption, p. 203). I do believe such to be the true context; But still, it should cause us to think about those in foreign lands. We still should ask, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” and “How shall they preach except they be sent?”
Now, let us continue by looking on to the second part of the verse. Let’s discuss beautiful feet. It too, primarily in context, concerns inspired preachers of the first century. However the words may have originally had to do with some thing else.
When Jerusalem fell to Babylon, one Israelite made that long arduous journey to those who had already been taken captive in order to break the bad news (Ezekiel 33:21 cf. 24:26-27). No one likes to hear bad news.
However, when Babylon fell, some escaped out of Babylon to declare these things to those still in Zion (Jeremiah 50:28). What joyous news. Babylon had fallen! No doubt the people must have thought that these bearers of good news had beautiful feet, in bringing such good news. Isaiah 52:7-8 reads, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation… Your watchman shall lift up their voices, with their voices they shall sing together… When the LORD brings back Zion.” Paul applies this to the apostolic message. However, it seems to me that the original meaning refers to those bearers of good news long ago. A return was made possible! Curtis Cates has written, “No obstacle would deter or obstruct God’s messengers… not even mountains. Just as the runner’s feet would be beautiful who would announce to captive peoples that deliverance had been secured, just so would the running, sore and dusty feet of the apostle be beautiful as they brought the message of complete freedom (possible) through the grace of God from the taskmaster of sin… Now what makes beautiful feet? Is it not the message they bear?” ( 1996 Denton Lectures, Studies In Romans, p.345).
Are your feet beautiful? You may have corns or bunions on your feet. You may suffer from athlete’s foot, or from toe fungus. You may have a club foot, or no feet at all. But if you have helped convert a sinner, if you have told someone of the good news (the Gospel) of Jesus Christ, and that they need not remain in the land of captivity, if you have helped them return home to God – no doubt to them your feet are beautiful! And to God also!
Let us all strive to have beautiful feet!