Romans 1:13-15

Romans 1:13-15

Now I don’t want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I often planned to come to you (but was prevented until now) in order that I might have a fruitful ministry among you, just as I have had among the rest of the Gentiles. I am obligated both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. (Romans 1:13-15)

 

My best guess as to what Paul means in this passage is that the Romans were civilized people while other gentile clans were considered barbarians. Paul was a sophisticated man and was himself a Roman citizen. He would be inclined to minister to people like himself. But Paul understood the wider scope of God‘s mercy, which is extended to everyone regardless of their background. While he wanted to come to Rome, the work of proclaiming the gospel to all of the gentiles was preventing him.

 

It is easy for us to associate only with people of like mind and background. But God is building a kingdom that is open to everyone. If you want to be effective in God’s service, then you will need to overcome your personal inclinations and open your heart to everyone as God does. You may also find joy in learning new things from brothers and sisters with different backgrounds. Such is the joy of being part of the family of God!

 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for opening your kingdom to everyone. Teach me the joy of sharing life with brothers and sisters of different backgrounds and histories. Remove any prejudice from my heart, and let me be open and available to everyone I encounter. Help me be an effective servant in the work of your global kingdom.