Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dirty Feet

Dirty Feet
April 25, 2011
Matthew 15:30 "Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them."

Feet. Aside from needing feet to keep the human body balanced, there are few positive things to discuss about feet. Feet are not necessarily pretty to look at, they are not necessarily pleasant to smell. Feet are usually kept covered and must be cleaned often. This was certainly true in the day of Jesus and it is still true today. In fact, in the time of Jesus, not many people had closed toed shoes with comfortable socks. They wore open sandals, walked through dirt, dust, and animal filth. Feet were not a socially acceptable conversational piece back then (hence the big deal when Jesus washed the disciples' feet). To touch someone's foot was to degrade yourself, symbolizing a social status difference between the two people. A king would never wash his own feet, let alone touch someone else's. A servant who washed someone's feet would never dare look him in the eye; touching someone's feet represented a degree of humiliation.

Humiliation. Not many positive things could be said about humiliation either, except that it is humbling. We've all been in a humiliating situation once or twice. Your face may have turned red or you've had to cover your eyes from an embarrassing situation. Those are the times you'd certainly like to forget (I've tried many times to forget mine). Humiliation is very humbling. Though that statement seems obvious, it takes a humble person to get through a humiliating situation. We don't usually put ourselves in humiliating situations on purpose; it is not comfortable to be humbled in front of other people. Unless . . . you are desperate.

In the Bible, people who were in desperate situations were certainly never honored; they were humiliated. People who had disease, sickness, physical deformity, etc, were considered unclean and therefore in a humiliating situation. While today we don't readily have the same stigma of being sick, back then you would be unclean. But back then, there was also no hope for you either, if you were sick. That's why people came to Jesus' feet. Desperate people came to place themselves in a humiliating situation so that Jesus might heal them. They publicly displayed their uncleanness and placed themselves at someone's dirty feet. "Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them." Such a perspective that you and I don't deal with today. They were desperate enough to endure humiliation, if it meant Jesus could fix everything.

Today, we never seem as desperate as the people in Jesus' day, at least on the outside. If we need something, we go to the doctor in private. Maybe we ask a close family member who will not shame us in our time of desperation or humble circumstance. We might say a prayer to ask the Lord for help, but we rarely ever place ourselves out in the open, laid bare of all our pride, desperate for a savior to fix all that is wrong in our lives. I know I've kept many of my prayer requests a secret over the years, never wanting other people to think less of me because of my situation or my desperation. Not that everyone needs to know my business, but I can certainly be desperate and humiliated all in private. It seems less humbling somehow, if no one else sees it. But is it any less desperate of a situation?

Notice, though, what Jesus did for all those in that humiliating situation. He healed them. Jesus never turned away desperate people, who were humbled enough to place themselves at His feet. Today, it is time to place yourself at the feet of Jesus.

1. What prayer requests do you keep in private?
2. How desperate are you for Jesus to fix all that is wrong?
3. Where is your pride or are you willing to humble yourself for HIM to heal it?

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Leviticus 11, Matthew 15, James 5

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