HOW TO MAKE YOUR FEET BEAUTIFUL
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things.
Preaching the gospel of peace makes one’s feet to be beautiful. It is in the Bible, so it is truth. I have read, re-read, and studied this verse, trying to figure out what it means. My feet are not so pretty. I have seen many feet in my life, and have not found a ‘pretty’ set yet. So, what is the Scripture saying?
The preaching of the gospel of peace elevates one to a spiritual state of having beautiful feet, at least in some spiritual way. One that comes with ‘good news’ was welcomed in those days. Messages did not arrive on one’s smart phone, their computer, their mail box, etc. No, messages were sent by foot, to run to the recipient, perhaps miles away. To watch a runner coming, to anticipate their soon arrival, to see that lonely, tired, runner coming from the valley, up to the mountainous home, was a pleasant sight, if the news were good. The foot washing welcome that was done, made the recipient of the message to see the tired, aching, blistered, and dirty feet of the messenger. While he was washing those feet, his thoughts were ‘how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news of peace.’
In our age, we don’t see the another’s tired achy feet. Shoes cover better than sandals of old. One who preaches the good news of our gospel, after having spent hours with the Lord, and with His Written Word, receiving the message of peace, has feet that are beautiful.
The word for ‘preach’ there is “kerusso”, meaning ‘to herald as a public crier’, to proclaim divine truth.’ The spiritual feet of such a person are ‘beautiful.’ The word for ‘beautiful is the Greek word ‘horaios. This means ‘timely, flourishing, beautiful.” Because the message timely, and God’s Word brings ‘life’ to make it flourishing, it is a beautiful message.
The words ‘those that preach the gospel’ is actually one Greek word, the word ‘euaggelizo.’ We get from it, the word ‘evangelize’. It means to preach, proclaim, declare glad news’.
The news in a sermon is ‘peace’. Peace is the Greek word ‘eirene’ meaning quietness, rest, set as stable again.’ The result of the message is always to be ‘peace’. Jesus said ‘peace’ to the storm on the sea, and the waves calmed, the wind stopped, the boat made it to shore. His goal with us is the same. The waves of life, the winds of changing and threatening events, are meant to be made to ‘peace’ by the sermons of preachers.
Romans also said it is to bring us ‘good things’ which is the Greek word ‘agathos’. This word means ‘of benefit, beneficial’. God calls some to bring messages, that may sound scary as they describe the problem, but the solution to the problem discussed in the sermon is always ‘beneficial, good, and engenders peace.
Paul likened himself to a ‘runner’ with a message several times in Scripture:
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’
Paul rushed with a message, given by God. He calls that job to be a ‘high calling’. The ministry of proclaiminng the gospel is a ‘high calling’. It should be appreciated, loved, and supported by the recipients. But even if it is not, it is a calling from God, and He loves, blesses and rewards the ones who use their spiritual feet to get the message of peaceful news to the world.
II Timothy 4:7
“I have run my race.’
Paul compares his run with the sermons he preached to an olympic race. He
knew the crowds were watching, and he knew that God was also observing.
“...so great a cloud of witnesses, so let us run with patience (endurance) the race.’
The race is one that takes patience and endurance. The recipients of the messages in the past sometimes stoned, or crucified the one with the message. Sometimes there were no ‘ears to hear’ the messages, and the ones there seemed deaf. This is a ministry that takes patient endurance.
Paul was quoting from Isaiah’s words when he spoke of the ‘beautiful feet’. Isaiah was also quoted by Nahum. So, the illustration of ‘feet’ being ‘beautiful’ in that day, due to the message being carried being so desirable, is one that is not so easily observed today. Yet the truth remains, and we need to understand this passage better, for it is important enough, that God had it put in Scripture three times.
Isaiah 52:7 (KJV)
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Nahum 1:15 (KJV)
Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.
The Hebrew word for ‘beautiful’ is ‘naa’, meaning ‘to be pleasant, suitable, beautiful.’ The thing they saw as ‘beautiful’ were the ‘feet’. Isaiah said that those that ‘bring good tidings’ and ‘publish peace’, and ‘bring good tidings of good’, that publish salvation, and that announce ‘God reigns’ are the ones with the beautiful feet.
The ‘salvation’ that Isaiah prophesied about being the ‘message’ is the Hebrew word ‘yeshua’, which is the same word as the word we call ‘Jesus’. Knowingly, or unknowingly, this was a prophetic announcement of the message of all preachers today. Then we are told in this passage that our ‘God reigns’, meaning that this ‘Yeshua’ will reign (Hebrew, malak, meaning ‘to ascend the throne’). Our Jesus has ascended the throne, and is seated now next to God the Father, ruling and reigning.
Jesus said in John 13:10:
Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
So, the feet need frequent washing. This was true literally, for they wore sandals, and the roads were dusty, dirty, muddy. So, often they had to clean their feet. Spiritually, this is also true, we may be proclaiming the gospel of peace, and have beautiful feet, but have gotten those same beautiful feet to be dirty.
We walk in a dirty world of sin and rebellion against God. We are defiled by the contact with the world. So the frequent washings spiritually help make us the preachers with beautiful feet that God wants us to be.
The word for ‘clean’ is ‘katharis’, meaning ‘pure, clean from anything that soils or corrupts.’ We are ‘clean’ from sin and its curse at salvation. But there is the often defilement from our own sins, and from the sinful environment of the world around us.
In the Old Testament, God had them build a laver, a wash basin made from the shiny brass looking glasses of the women. These bronze mirrors were items of luxury. The laver made from these held water for the priests to wash their hands and feet, whenever they noticed soil or dust upon them. If they failed to wash their hands and feet when they noticed the soil upon them, they would drop dead. God would not allow the priestly ministry to be done by soiled priests.
God is still adamant on having us to be pure and clean. None of us are perfect though. Thus, we must constantly re-clean our hands feet in the laver of the Word of God. Study of, love for, obedience to the Word of God will cleanse us over and over during the preaching ministry.
Ephesians 5:26-27 (KJV)
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
The washing of our spiritual feet is a mandatory feature.
Another passage of the Word, instructs us is that if they come to a place where the gospel of peace is rejected, to ‘shake the dust off’ our beautiful feet and depart. We do not preach to those who do not want to hear, who refuse the message of the gospel. One needs to shake that dust of rejection off, and move on. We force no one to accept, we do not waste our time on rejecters. We find those who will listen, will accept, and we disciple them to do the same.
Luke 9:5 (KJV)
And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
To not shake the dust off and leave, allows our feet to stay beautiful but also be dirty. Have beautiful feet, but also clean feet.