When I was in High School, something happened. At some point in my many High School adventures I slashed my left foot, right between the big toe and the second toe. At the time, it must not have been major, because I don’t really remember what I did and didn’t even apply any medication to it. I just left it to heal on it’s own. Needless to say, this place on my foot eventually developed into a cyst that looked like I was creating my own little skin foothill to say the least. Days turned to months, months turned into years, and I learned to live with this little bump on my left foot, but NEVER liked to show it off. The great thing about socks and shoes in our society is that I didn’t have to really worry about anything until summer time rolled around. Oh yea… Summer! You know the time where you go barefoot and wear your flip flops or chacos or sandals and SHOW OFF YOUR FEET. You get the picture. I didn’t think my feet were up to par and really never thought my feet could ever be BEAUTIFUL. (Hey, I’m a guy, so don’t just tell me to go get a pedicure and be done, girls. I am sure that if I did consider something like a pedicure, that the lady person would have taken one look at my feet and bursted out in some sort of horrible scream, like the wicked witch of the East did in the Wizard of Oz.)
In a world of feet and stinkiness, I realize that maybe there are some of you out there with me. You don’t like your feet. They stink. They are ugly in some way, and most of all, they CANNOT be BEAUTIFUL. Lets face it, if there were some chart out there on the interwebs, the value for feet in this world would probably be really low compared to the value for, let’s just say, your eyes.
In conclusion, I realized that my feet were not beautiful and many others did not really have a high value for feet as well.
This is a problem. When Paul starts talking in Romans about feet. He uses the word beautiful in the same sentence as feet. So when he talks all about feet, I naturally reject whatever he is about to say. It’s like I just skim over Romans 10:15 and get to the next part.
HOWEVER, all my life, I have been missing something that Paul has been saying about the whole foot thing.
Here is what he says…
And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Romans 10:15 ESV
I had to get over the foot stuff and really look deeper into what Paul was saying. He was pointing out something that makes total sense, to put BEAUTIFUL and FEET in the same sentence.
You see, wayyyyyy back in the day, When armies went to battle, those who remained at home waited anxiously to hear of the outcome, because often their destiny was tied to the success or failure of the armies. But they didn’t have telecommunication systems that could rush news instantly from the battlefront back to the local community. So messages were carried by runners.
Here is the main point – It’s not about FEET it’s about GOOD NEWS
IN FACT, in the ancient world it was customary, in some places, that if the messenger brought bad news, he was punished with death. If it was bad news, then, he would be burdened by the news that he was carrying, and fearful of what treatment he might expect. As each city posted lookouts to watch the approaching runners, it became almost a science whereby the lookout could determine whether the messenger was bringing good news or bad news, just by his feet.
To go deeper into history and the intentionality of Paul, there was the legend of Pheidippides. (Yell out that name and see what reaction you get!!!) This was a soldier that ran from the battlefield at the site of the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C. He ran so fast and so hard that as he delivered the momentous message “Niki!” (“victory”), he collapsed on the spot and died. You might have guessed, that this why we use the word “Marathon” for that long run thing people do. In fact, Pheidippides was honored by a 24.85 mile run from Marathon Bridge to Olympic Stadium in Athens during the first modern Olympic games held in 1896 in Greece.
Like Pheidippides, if the messenger was bringing good news of victory, his feet would be flying and he would be kicking up a lot of dust. There would be an exuberance and an enthusiasm in his running form, as he approached the walls of the city. Hence the phrase, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!
You See, It’s not about FEET it’s about GOOD NEWS
So when you are grossed out by stinky feet or huge cysts growing on them, remember that Beautiful Feet are ones of Victory. Oh, and by the way, I eventually got a wife, and told her about the cyst, and she made me better by taking me to the skin Dr. and getting it removed on the operation table in the office, as my two young kids ate their Cheerios and watched their Daddy wrench in pain. I love my wife!
How about you right now? Do you have Victorious or Defeated feet when it comes to your walk with Jesus?
Wherever your feet go, do they gladly bring the Good News of Jesus Christ?
OR do they bring other news and drag behind you?
How can your pursuit of Christ be like Pheidippides?
Do you want to go run a Marathon now? (Me Neither)