bare feet


In the theology of the Way, feet represent the flesh or body of a person, the head representing the spirit and the hands representing the soul–where spirit and body meet and combine. When Jezebel, arch-enemy of the prophet Elijah, died, the dogs who ate her would not touch her head, her hands, or her feet, showing that she was fully unclean. Before this, when the Levitical laws were being established by Moses for the Hebrew people, the priests were consecrated for their duties by having animal blood put on their ears, thumbs, and largest toes, thus sanctifying their whole selves. In the New Covenant, for Christians, Jesus washes his disciples’ feet. Peter is horrified at the idea, and Jesus explains that if he does not do this, Peter has no part in him–cannot be transformed into a new creature. Peter then excitedly cries that he wants Jesus to also cleanse his head and his hands. Jesus replies that those who have taken baths need only wash their feet, meaning that baptism and walking in the presence of God has taken care of their spirits and souls, but that the ancestral flesh or body is all that is left to be cleansed for full transformation. He then says that we are to wash one another’s feet–that we should assist in sanctifying others and preparing them for eternal life. So, in Christ, we are cleansed in spirit and soul, but our natural bodies–our feet–are unclean until they are cleansed.
Then there is the incident with Mary of Bethany when she prepares the flesh of Jesus for his burial with her tears and the expensive nard. Previous to that, a woman of the city of Nain does the same thing for Jesus. And then there was the strange incident when God attacked Moses to kill him, and his converted-pagan Midianite wife Zipporah smeared blood on Moses’ feet to save his life–effectively cleansing his fallen nature so that he would be seen to be holy. Keep your feet shod with the preparation of the good news of peace.
How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of him who brings good tidings,
who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good things,
    who publishes salvation,
    who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’
Isaiah 52.7