"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!" (Isaiah 52:7).
"And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:15).
How beautiful were the feet of the Lord Jesus to His God and Father, as He walked through this world. As we follow Him in thought all through Galilee and Judea and beyond, He was ever doing that which pleased His Father but also bringing peace, healing and blessing to all those who came to Him in faith. Ever doing God’s will, no matter what it cost him, whether it was “being wearied with the way He had come” or enduring the hatred of those whom He had come to save. But never being turned aside, though His path was “uncheered by earthly smile it let only to the cross” where He finished the work that His Father had given Him to do.
How can it then be that what was so true of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ as a man down here, can also be said of those who “follow His steps” as the quotation in Romans 10:15 of Isaiah 52:7 seems to suggest? It surely can only be that as we seek to follow Him, and plant our feet in His footsteps, that the Holy Spirit will conform us to His image and thus divine persons can take delight in our feet as representing Him now.
I believe we can be greatly helped in this if we consider three occasions in Luke’s gospel where we find persons engaged with those beautiful feet, and to consider what Lord Jesus said about those three persons. We may also see that one stood, another sat, and thirdly another was down on his face, and each stance is appropriate.
In Luke 7:37–38M we read, “And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to was His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.”
This dear woman, overwhelmed by her sinful life, was drawn by divine love and grace, displayed so perfectly by the Lord Jesus, to His beautiful feet. Her tears of repentance were so precious to Him, who knew everything about her but did not reject her. What refreshment those tears brought to Him, as she washed his feet and was prepared to use all her glory (her hair) to dry those feet. The Lord’s words “to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little” tell us that she loved the Lord very deeply and this is the first and vital thing for us to know, if we are to follow His steps. He must have the first place in our affections.
Her standing behind Him but at His feet I believe would indicate that her love for Him prepared her to be able to serve Him in a priestly way.
Secondly in Luke 10:39 and 42, we read “And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard (listened to) His word…But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Mary of Bethany was very well acquainted with the feet of Jesus, she sits and listens, she fell at His feet when overwhelmed with sorrow and she anointed His feet with ointment.
The tense of the verb “chosen” is in the imperative and means that she made a definite choice and nothing would ever change that choice. This would speak to us of devotion. Without question, Mary loved the Lord Jesus, but she was also devoted to Him. This fact was so appreciated by the Lord that He said “which shall not be taken away from her.”
Here we learn a second thing which must characterise us, we must also be devoted to Him by sitting at His feet and listening to Him in the scriptures. To give time to the study of the word and learning from Him in prayer and communion. We must, of course be at peace and restful in our minds, as sitting would suggest, and being at His feet would ever remind us of where those feet took Him in devotion to His Father, and to us also.
Lastly in Luke 17:15–16. We read of one of the ten lepers that the Lord cleansed. “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.”
Not only must we love Him, and be devoted to Him, but we must be characterized by thanking and praising Him, and through Him to His God and Father. “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” is a very searching question and one that we all must answer. It would involve not only our love and devotion but our answering to His request “this do in remembrance of me.” Mary of Bethany grasped the only opportunity she had of responding to His love by anointing His feet with ointment, and the Lord has seen to it that what she did has never been forgotten. Have not we ample opportunities to answer to His request? Here, this dear, newly cleansed leper puts first and foremost the response of his heart to this blessed Man Who had done so much for Him; his heart overflows in thanksgiving and glorifying God because of what Jesus had done.d
How is it with you, dear reader, are you one of the nine? Or rather like this dear man who turned away from everything else in order to respond to the Lord Jesus and to His God and Father.
I sincerely believe that if we know more about these three things, then it will become more true of our feet being beautiful in the sight of God, as they follow in the steps of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Such feet will eventually be used by the God of peace to crush Satan, as the scripture says in Romans 16:20: “And the God of peace shall bruise [crush] Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, Amen.”