Perhaps Romeís Christians had urged Paul to go there, and this was Paulís reply. Paul believed that God wanted him to work in Rome. However, God had not sent him there yet.
Paul could see that his work there would not merely be to speak at meetings of the Christians. Rather, his most important task would be to declare the gospel (Godís message about Christ) to people who were not yet Christians. God wanted to change their lives in the most wonderful manner. Paul compared that to the joy of a farmer as he collects fruit during the harvest.
However, Paul did not declare Godís message merely because he wanted to see the wonderful results of it. Since God had first sent Paul to declare it, Paul had felt a sense of duty. People who do not have a right relationship with God need to hear his message to them. In Ezekiel 3:16-21, God told Ezekiel that he had a duty to declare the messages that God gave him. The people might choose to accept or to refuse the messages; but Ezekiel as Godís servant must still declare them.
The Greeks are the people from Greece, a nation with an important history, culture and language. A ĎBarbarianí was their word for someone who did not speak their language. In Paulís opinion, it did not matter which nation people belonged to. It did not matter whether Paul was speaking to an intelligent person or not. It did not matter what other people thought about that person. If God had sent Paul to that person, then Paul must declare Godís message to that person (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Clearly, therefore, that person is important to God.
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© 2018, Keith Simons.