Day 9: A Duty to the Wise and the Foolish

Romans 1:13-16 :

Now I don’t desire to have you unaware, brothers, that I often planned to come to you, and was hindered so far, that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to the wise and to the foolish. So, as much as is in me, I am eager to preach the Good News to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.

Here, Paul explains that he had wanted to get to Rome for quite a while but was stopped by other work he knew he was supposed to do. Rome was probably the most important city in the world at that time and it probably had some of the most important people in it. It would make sense that if Paul wanted to share an important faith such as Christianity, that he would want to share it in Rome; however, Paul makes it very clear that he had a duty to share the gospel with the unintelligent people just as much as he had a duty to share with the intelligent people.

God loves all of his creation. He doesn’t see “intelligence” the same way that sinful mankind sees it. Paul had to keep his focus on the duty he had for the Kingdom of God. Someday we will all, as believers, give an account to our Lord regarding the work that we have done for His kingdom too. Our view of what is important should be shaped by that moment. Satan does all he can do now to shape our importance around the false ideas he plants in the world. These things distract us from what is truly important.

Just because Paul didn’t go directly to Rome with the message does not mean that he was embarrassed about it. Paul makes it clear that he has no shame about the Gospel of Christ. Notice that it is this Gospel that is “the power of God for salvation.” There is power in the message of God and especially in the message about the salvation that comes through Jesus. That power, however, is only “for everyone who believes.”

If you have been following along through Acts, you will recognize the last statement. Paul would always go to the synagogue first and preach. He was usually rejected and sometimes even beat up. After that he would go to the Gentiles. Here we read directly from Paul’s letter that this was intentional. God wanted him to go give the message to God’s own people, the Jews, first. They were supposed to be the wise ones. Thankfully, God’s message came to us, the foolish ones, as well.