Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Foot Fetish? Not really. There are a plethora of references to feet in the Bible both Old and New Testament. Many of these are in a Not So Good light.
The foot was and still is in many cultures, considered the lowliest most detestable part of the human anatomy. In some Arab cultures, it is an insult of the strongest degree to show the souls of your foot (shod or not) to someone. Remember the shoe throwing incident with President Bush? That was to be the most degrading thing one could do to him. Many people when displaying humility (ultimate) in the Bible, would fall at someone's feet - IE John with the angel in Rev, or the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears. God promises in the Old Testament and reiterates in the New, that He will make Jesus' enemies His footstool.
But why does the foot get such a bad rap? In Jesus' time, the streets were in part or parcel, the toilets. The bigger the town, the bigger the mess. Folks would simply squat down enjoying the cover of their long garments (robes) and do what they needed to do. I know, you probably revolt at that but this was after all the norm. The result was, that your feet or shoes or whatever garment drug the ground, was filthy, both literally and figuratively. One New Testament reference to feet is found in John 13. It is a very familiar passage to most Churchie folks, and is the account of Jesus washing the disciples feet. It was an unparalleled display of humility on His part and is an often unattainable example to us.
A couple of things jump out at me in this story - the first of which is - "How could He find the strength or grace to perform such a demeaning task? Wouldn't folks think less of Him? And more applicable to me; "How am I supposed to 'turn the other cheek' when so much of the world is out to take advantage of me? Where do I get that kind of Strength?"
The answer is right there in vs 3. "Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;" This is how you withstand attacks. This is how you do good for those who hate you. This is how. Do you know that God has give you "every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies"? Eph 1:3.
Do you understand that you came from God - and more importantly, that you are ultimately going to be with Him? This knowledge should make you bulletproof. It should make the best of the world’s attacks run off you like water off a duck.
The second noteworthy thing - in light of what the feet meant, was Peter's initial refusal to participate. "You'll never wash my feet Lord". But after he realized what was happening, he begged: "not my feet only, but also my hands and my head". Our hands do evil, and our head is the place of sin's origin. Oh that we could ask that and mean it. There is also an account in Matt. 9:20 and following, of a woman who had been bleeding for years. She reasoned to herself: "If I could just touch the hem of His (Jesus') garment, I would be healed" - and so she was.
Let's turn the Spiritual Switch: In Romans 10:15, Paul quotes Isaiah and says: "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THEM THAT PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, AND BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!" Who is it that does this? It is you - whenever you even attempt to share the good news of Christ with a lost person. When you are doing this, God says the lowliest part of you is beautiful. Wow.