Summary: Romans 10 emphasizes the importance of sharing the message of hope with others
A tanner, interested in beginning a new business in a busy part of town, set up a little booth for a few days to give it a try. Using some poles he made a frame with a roof and arranged his wares inside. As a final act of decoration, he drilled a hole in one of the poles and stuck the end of a calf’s tail into it with the bushy end hanging down. After a while, he noticed a man standing a ways off just looking at the booth. So the tanner asked him,
“Do you want to buy something?”
“Are you a merchant?”
“Are you a tanner?”
“Are you a farmer?”
“Then what are you?”
“I’m a philosopher and I’ve been standing here for an hour trying to figure out how you got that calf through that hole.”
Today is Easter Sunday and it doesn’t take a philosopher to understand how Jesus got through the door of the tomb. The Bible says that God raised Jesus from the dead and that if you put your trust in him you will be saved. It’s a message that everybody needs to hear. But will they?
If you have read the New Testament and are familiar with the story of Jesus, you know there were times during Jesus’ ministry when Jesus demonstrated God’s power by healing and even raising people from the dead and then telling them not to let anyone know. For example, in Matthew 9 two blind men came to Jesus to have their sight restored. Jesus touched their eyes and their eyes were opened. Then we read that Jesus sternly ordered them, “See that no one knows of this.” Why did he do that? Was it because he was shy or afraid and didn’t want many people to know? Was he using reverse psychology, the kind that says if you tell them not to do something they will do it? No. He ordered them not to tell because people would not really understand who he was. They were not yet ready to hear it. It wasn’t yet time to let the news out.
But when we get to the end of Matthew, to this final chapter about the resurrection, it is a different story. Now, as Jesse Jackson once said in a speech, “Our time has come.”
• When the angel met these two women at the tomb, he told them “Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell.”
• When these two women met Jesus on their way to tell the disciples, Jesus said, “Go and tell.”
Now is the time. Start the presses. Pull out the stops. Announce the news. Let people know. Go and tell. And according to the Gospel of Matthew, the last words Jesus spoke to his disciples were “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” words that we call the Great Commission.
And people have been telling the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus ever since.
• Peter preached it in Jerusalem.
• Paul traveled all over Asia.
• David Livingstone sailed to Africa.
• John and Charles Wesley came to the United States.
• A member of the church we attended in Japan walked all over that country with the goal of personally delivering a Christian tract to every home in Japan.
• And if you knew about Jesus before coming here today, someone made the effort to tell you about him.
• Now it’s your turn. Who are you going to tell?
A few moments ago we read in Romans 10 not only that
• “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved,” not only
• “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” but also
• “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Ever since Marconi sent the first radio signal across the Atlantic and Samuel Morse telegraphed his first words across the U.S., we get more and more of our news and information through radio, television, the internet, and cell phones. We don’t get it directly from the source. Sometimes we don’t even know anything about the source. Some of those means of communication can actually keep us from communicating with each other. I remember a Blondie cartoon in which each member of the family was talking on cell phones all day to let each other know where they were and what they were doing. At the end of the day when they gathered around the dinner table, no one had anything to say to each other.
It didn’t used to be that way. In centuries past, messengers ran with important news. These couriers delivered the news in person. In II Sam. 18 we read that King David was waiting for news about his son Absalom. The watchman on the tower called out to David that he saw a man running toward them. “David said, “If he is alone, he has news.” And he did, but it was not good news. David’s son had been killed.