If you were to have great news that could save a life, would there be anyone that you would be hesitant to tell it to? For some people, the answer unequivocally is yes. It’s usually someone that has hurt them in some way. Either physically, emotionally, psychologically. And even in some cases, it’s only because we as Christians have Prejudice or racist views towards another individual for one reason or another. But the Bible contradicts our notions that we can hold back the Good news from certain people for whatever reason.
“We have received grace and apostleship through Him to bring about the obedience of faith among all the nations, on behalf of His name, including yourselves who also belong to Jesus Christ by calling:”
Romans 1:5-6Hcsb Bible
In this letter, Paul is writing to the Christians in the city of Rome. He hasn’t visited yet, but is excited to visit them and help them. Now to understand the gravity of these two verses, we need to know a little bit about context and the history around it.
Paul(a Jew), is sending a letter to the Romans saying that the message of Jesus Christ is not just for the Jew, but for them as well. At this time, there was a lot of animosity between Jews and Gentiles and between Jews and Samaritans. At this time, the Romans were in control of Israel and putting excessive taxes and rules upon the Jewish people. That’s the reason why Jews hated the tax collectors, because they were an extension of Roman rule and would abuse their power.
Another thing that separates them is their culture. The Romans couldn’t have been more different than the Jews. They could get divorces a whole lot easier than Jews, they worshipped multiple gods. They also didn’t ate a lot of things that were different from the Jews.
The Romans were also the same ones who had the punishment by which Jesus was killed with.
So if the gospel is for the oppressor and the killer of Jesus, then the gospel is for those that we hate. The same people that probably indirectly or directly killed their fellow family members would still need and hear the good news of Jesus Christ. This is This is also the case for Saul(Paul) since he too was converted on the way to kill Christians. He too, received the gospel and is writing this letter to the Christians in a city that was putting down rebellion after rebellion of his people.
This is a hard pill to swallow because this means that we will have to change how we think of who needs the gospel. The person that bullied you in school, needs the Gospel. The one who belittled you, needs the Gospel. The one who is different than you, needs the Gospel. And even the person who murdered your family or raped you, still needs Jesus Christ and the good news he gives.
This is hard to say, but think of a person that you absolutely hate or really dislike and bring the good news to them. Think of them to forgive them and hopefully bring them to the saving message of Jesus. Because at the end of the day, they need it too. It’s our job to bring it to them.