July 17, 2010
Rimes With Reason by Charles Rimes
Sometimes I step off into a subject that may be somewhat over my head or rather over my feet. We know through personal visits or watching media of the oil catastrophe in Gulf of Mexico how it’s affecting coastlines. People being careful to walk there try not to step in oil sludge or on tar balls. Walking down there, shoes or flip flops are worn but cleaning them or bare feet takes more than water or soap. It wasn’t that way during Jesus’ day. With most Biblical characters at that time wearing leather strap-on sandals and no socks, as we now have, dusty and muddy roads caused dirty feet.
The Bible has many passages on foot washing. When the Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees in Mamre three men appeared. Abraham rushed to meet them and said: “Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree,” Genesis 18:4 KJV. When two angels appeared in Sodom, Lot said: “. . .Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways.” - Gen. 19:2KJV. When Jacobs’, or Israels’, sons traveled to Egypt, their brother Joseph, unknown at the time to them, gave orders to his steward: “The steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder to their donkeys.” - Gen. 43:24NIV.
The Bible says Jesus spoke to Simon the Pharisee in his home: “ . . Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. - Luke 7:44KJV.
At the Lord’s Supper, Jesus: “ . .got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said ‘Master, you wash my feet?’ Jesus answered. “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear to you later.’ Peter persisted, ‘You’re not going to wash my feet–ever! Jesus said, ‘If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.’ ‘Master!’ said Peter, ‘Not only my feet, then, Wash my hands! Wash my head!’ Jesus said, ‘If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene.’” - John 13:4-10 MESSAGE. What did the Lord intend to teach in these verses when He washed the disciples feet? Did He institute a church religious worship ritual, or did He set an example of individual humble service? It’s not stated in the Bible that this should be a ritual of worship nor does any other Biblical passage state that Christians did this in church assemblies.
Jesus washed feet not a foot. For those churches who practice foot-washing some do it this way: "For people whose feet are being washed: Instruct them to come to the service with clean feet in clean footgear. Each person removes the footgear from one foot. It doesn't matter which foot. The foot-washer places the bowl under the person's bare foot, pours water on the foot, and dries it with the towel."
This has nothing to do with foot-washing, but we Massage Therapist use lotions, oils or gels to gently massage feet. The bottom of feet are a map of internal body parts and any soreness or hardness on them usually reflexes to indicate problems in that body part. When that body area is clear of problems, foot soreness is usually gone. I’m a believer of taking care of feet, because when they are pain-free the mind can concentrate on other things especially Biblical teachings and emulating Jesus.