Years ago at a SR RCYF Parents Night, the students were instructed to roll up the legs of their jeans and remove their socks and shoes. They were then lined up behind a large sheet of plastic hanging from the ceiling. The parents were then asked to identify which child was theirs by the feet sticking out from under the plastic.
Some parents were concerned that they would not be able to recognize their teenager’s feet, while others were quite confident. I was in the confident category. I had dressed those feet many times as an infant and toddler and our oldest daughter has two very distinct crooked toes, so I was positive I would have no problem identifying her feet. I chose correctly and the other parents also completed the task rather quickly and claimed the feet of each child. Who knew how recognizable our feet are?
While feet seem to be a pretty obscure part of our body, the Bible mentions feet quite often.
There are verses that give warning to our feet:
Proverbs 4:26-27 “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”
There are verses that reference a sure foundation:
Psalm 17:5 “My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.”
Psalm 40:2 “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.”
Other verses paint a picture of spreading the gospel:
Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God Reigns.’”
Ephesians 6:14-15 “Stand firm, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
And one of the greatest lessons in all of scripture comes from the washing of feet. John records the event this way: “Jesus got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. ‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.’” John 13:4-5, 14-15
Others may not know us by our feet like our parents do, but the Bible does tell us that there is a distinct characteristic that will identify his disciples. John 13:34-35 records Jesus’ words. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
As I think about this passage, it makes me cringe. Does the world know us by our love? As Jesus’ followers, do we love well? There are some who claim Christ who are known for their complaining attitude, negative talk, and bickering. Some are known for their gossip, their criticism, their laziness, or their anger. For some, we brush it aside and say “well, that’s just __(name)__.” But that’s not in line with Jesus’ command.
May we, who are of the Jesus kind, be known as followers of Christ by the way we walk, by the way we talk, and by the way we love.