Why Feet are Important by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

What kind of feet do you have?

For a tall girl, I have small, delicate feet with a high instep. There are some shoes I cannot wear because of my feet, and historically, I’ve sprained my ankles because my feet don’t provide enough support.

However, feet are not only physically important. They are also spiritually significant.

In the Bible, when speaking about our call to share about our hope, Isaiah says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’” (Isaiah 52:7, ESV).

Our feet (or path) can be directed by the Word of God. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105, NIV).

Our feet can either be secure in God, or wobbly in the world. “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure” (Psalm 40:2, NKJV).

Feet also represent a great act of humility demonstrated by Jesus, one day before his arrest and just after the Passover meal with his disciples. That’s when he washed each of his disciples’ feet. “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded” (John 13:3­–5, NKJV).

This humble act was a demonstration of servitude, something we should emulate, no matter what position we hold.

Recently, I had an opportunity to experience something close to Jesus’ humble foot washing example when I visited a former worldwide ministry leader who I considered a mentor. She had suffered a stroke and was not herself. While there, she wanted me to rub her feet, and I considered it an honor to massage the feet of a woman who had poured so much into me, and perhaps millions of others.

My guess is Jesus also saw it as an honor to wash His disciples’ feet. After all, they had been with Him from the beginning and He knew what was ahead of them. It was His last teaching, showing them how to be a servant leader.

What does washing someone’s feet look like in your life? See it as a Easter metaphor for a humble act. This holy week, pray about how you can serve a friend, family member or stranger. Jesus set the example for us, even though He knew He was going to the cross the following day.

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