Image courtesy of satit_srihin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of satit_srihin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Did Jesus Have Stinky Feet?

My wife hates feet. With a passion. She hates feet and things associated with feet (unless, of course, I’m offering to massage her feet – she’s all for that idea!). The feet are not an attractive part of the body. They get dirty. They stink. And, let’s face it, there are some pretty jacked up toes out there. Like in my bloodline. There is a phenomenon we jokingly call “The Linzey Toe”. Our fourth toe has an odd curvature to it. My dad has it. I have it. My wife prayed that our children would be spared. But, alack-a-day, they are Linzey children and received the hereditary toe.

If we feel that way about feet in our society, imagine how people felt about feet in Jesus’ day. There were no paved roads, just dirt. There were no athletic socks, just sandals or boots. I bet feet got pretty nasty. So people stayed away from feet. In fact, only the lowliest of servants would handle the feet of others.

The zealous evangelist known as John the Baptist (or, as I like to call him, Dunkin’ John) had an interesting word picture to describe the value and worth of Jesus. Mark wrote about it in his book.

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.” ~ Mark 1:4-8

That’s quite a statement about how much John valued Jesus. “He is so far above me that I’m not even worthy to get down on the ground and touch the straps of the sandals on his dirty feet.” If the feet were the job of the lowest servant, John is placing himself even LOWER in comparison to Jesus.

That’s not an attitude that we see a whole lot any more. In fact, sometimes it feels as though we take Jesus for granted. We like the grace part. We like the forgiveness of sinners part. We like the “I am a friend of God” part. But we often focus on the relational aspect of Christ’s humanity that we forget the grandeur and splendor of his majesty.

Jesus wasn’t just another dude. He was the supreme dude. He was God in the flesh. And that should have an impact on us. It should mean that we tread lightly in how we come to Jesus in our own faith. It should mean that we don’t take grace as some cheap gift – it is a costly gift from someone who is so far above us that we could never even hope to reach him on our own.

I wonder how our worship services would change if we thought about ourselves as unworthy compared to Christ’s majesty…

Tonight is Saturday night. As we head into Sunday and we all go to our houses of worship, please take some time to ponder the glory and worth of Christ. Don’t take him for granted, but let’s understand our place before Him.