The Via Egnatia
by Rik Charbonneaux

"As it s written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things." Romans 10:15 NKJV

When the Apostle Paul quoted those words of Isaiah in his letter to the Romans, the most common mode of transportation was still walking, and his feet proved to be beautiful too, as he took the Gospel to those towns along the Via Egnatia, the Roman road between Philippi and Thessalonica. (Acts, Chapters 16-17).

Although Peter and John Mark walked this road in 42 CE on their way to Rome, it is Paul who is by far the best remembered by us and the one who best used these three things to best spread the "Good tidings of good things" of the Gospel:

1. A common language:

Greek was the common language of the day, and most people could speak or read it.

2. The Jewish Diaspora:

Preaching to the small Jewish populations along the way, using the Jew's belief in monotheism and the Hebrew Scriptures as a common ground from which to try and explain the new message to the few Jews who would listen.

3. The Roman Roads:

Utilizing the Via Egnatia (the Roman Road that connected with Adriatic Sea ports with Byzantium) would prove to work well in two ways: (1) the absolute best way for Paul to walk and reach his intended destinations, and (2) it proved to be just as valuable in the spreading of the gospel coming back out of those cities by existing and new believers.

It was the best time to use the right road, the right language and the best approach of contact. Such was how the Spirit stirred Paul to proceed.

In our own time, one's life journey is commonly called "our way" (via vieta) and when you look back upon your life, do you think you traveled it as well as Paul tried to do?

As he is well remembered for the thousands of people whom he presented with the truth, you will be remembered well for having shared the Gospel, if even with only one person.

Along his own "via vieta", Paul was held in trial by many for his efforts for Christ. Along your own "via vieta", you too will be held in trial by many if your words and heart for Christ bear fruit.

If it is so with you, then rejoice as Paul did and know that there is One who will remember you.

Rik Charbonneaux is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.

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