“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” – Romans 10:15
Take a look at your feet. What do you see? Shoes. Bare feet. Socks. What do they look like? Are your feet worn? Blistered and calloused? Do you wear cheap shoes or expensive ones? Athletic shoes or dress shoes…or maybe boots? Are they well worn, well cared for, or well bought? Consider for a moment the story that your feet and their shoes tell. Everywhere you go, your feet carry you there. Often times the only physical contact we have with a place is through our feet. That bit of sand might be from your vacation; the clump of dirt from your weekend project; the smudge from that chaotic morning the other day. Our feet tell a story about us; who we are, what we do, where we go.
In Biblical times feet were very important. Other modes of transportation were a luxury. If you needed to go somewhere then it was your own two feet that took you there. It’s for this reason that foot washing was so important. Most places you went provided for your ability to wash your feet. The truly generous hosts, like Jesus, would wash the feet of those around them. It’s in this context that Paul uses the Prophet Isaiah’s words “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
The Apostles had a big job. They were to carry the good news of Jesus into all the world. They would carry that good word with their feet. Jesus gives them this task at the end of Matthew’s Gospel when he tells them to Go! Make disciples! Baptize! Teach! Now that word “go” in the command of Jesus is a tricky one. Often times we hear it as saying; go when you have time. Go when it seems convenient to you. Go if you want to. But the sense in the Bible, the sense we get from the Greek is this: as you are going, and you will go, make disciples, baptize, and teach.
Jesus commands us in the Bible to wash one another’s feet. Sadly its a practice that has fallen almost completely out of favor among Christians. Well meaning Christians get downright indignant about the practice of foot washing. “We don’t do that!” they protest. Umm…Jesus said to do it; what about that do we not do? I think the reason we don’t like it is that we don’t really like that very real, palpable reminder that we are to Go! A friend once observed that we invert the Great Commission of Jesus. We place our first order importance on teaching, then baptizing, then making disciples, and finally going. But Jesus starts with Go. Go! Then make disciples, then baptize, then teach.
Using your feet to go and carry good news to all isn’t an optional exercise, it is simply what Christians do. You don’t have to drop everything and go off to some foreign land to do mission work. Your mission field is right here. Look around you; mission field. Look out your window; mission field. It’s right here. As your feet carry you to work, carry the good news with you. As your feet carry you home, carry the good news with you. As your feet carry you anywhere, carry the good news with you.
The feet of those twelve Apostles transformed the world. Think of what your two little feet can do! Carry the good news with your money and with your time. Carry it with your eyes and your ears. Carry it with your hands and your gifts…but always carry the good news of Jesus with those beautiful two feet.