FOOT: regel. Feminine noun. (Strong’s 7272).
Sounds like: reh-ghel.
How Lovely are the Feet…
Feet don’t often get described as lovely or beautiful, but the prophet Isaiah painted a pretty picture about feet on mountains:
How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news [rag’leh m-vasser] , who announces peace [mash’mia shalom] and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation [mash’mia yeshua], and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Isaiah wasn’t the only prophet to announce this:
Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news [rag’leh m-vasser],
Who announces peace!
Celebrate your feasts, O Judah;
Pay your vows.
For never again will the wicked one pass through you;
He is cut off completely.
God made a beautiful plan to save humanity… and all who wander, announcing the plan of Salvation and peace are beautiful to YHWH! But the main person to live out the Good News was Yeshua (whose name literally meant “Salvation”) and His connection to feet, in the Biblical narrative, is powerful.
The first thing that comes to mind, to many, was the crucifixion. Yeshua was fixed to the cross by nails through his hands and feet.
Yeshua wandered on this planet for a reason… His path led him directly to His death. David wrote a Psalm which pointed to the Messiah’s gruesome demise:
…You lay me in the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet [ka-ari yadai w-rag’lai]. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
Roman crucifixion included the piercing of hands and feet onto the wooden beams before they were hoisted up to hang painfully for all to see. Archaeological evidence includes a foot bone with a metal spike drilled through it. This artifact can now be seen in Israel’s national museum. For those fixed upon the cross there would be no more wandering the earth. They had taken their last step.
Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified. They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be to you.” But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet [Greek: podas], that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet [podas]. While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them.
Yeshua was God’s presence on earth… wandering amongst His creation. We have a God who walked among us. Pagan idols of the day were hand-made showing feet, but their feet never touched the earth and walked amongst the living:
Why should the nations say, “Where, now, is their God?” But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; they have eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but they cannot hear; they have noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but they cannot feel; they have feet [rag’lehem], but they cannot walk; they cannot make a sound with their throat. Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them.
We have a walking God, a talking God… a God who hears, and sees and feels! He was also a God who sent part of Himself, His Son, the Messiah, to walk amongst humans. But the Jewish people had a long journey before the coming of the Messiah.
The feet of the Hebrew people wandered far and wide. They marched out of Egypt and towards the promised land. God promised the Hebrew people that, “every place on which the sole of your foot [kaf rag’l’kem] treads shall be yours; your border will be from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the river, the river Euphrates, as far as the western sea.” (Deuteronomy 11:24a). (See also Joshua 1:3).
Eventually their feet took them to the promised land, but to get there the people had to cross the Jordan River. When the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant touched the waters of the River, a miraculous thing occurred; the waters were cut and gathered in a heap, letting the people cross on dry ground:
“It shall come about when the soles of the feet [kappowt rag’leh] of the priests who carry the ark of YHWH, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap.”
Once the priests were all standing on the dry riverbed, YHWH told Joshua to have them leave the Jordan River and cross to the other side:
It came about when the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of YHWH had come up from the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet [kappowt rag’leh] were lifted up to the dry ground, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and went over all its banks as before.
In honour of this miraculous event, Joshua made a monument in the Jordan River where the priests feet had stood (Joshua 4:9). Then the people wandered into the land and claimed it with their feet.
However, it didn’t take long before they forgot that God was their King, and in their desire to be like other nations, they chose to anoint their own kings on earth. Kindly, God overlooked the insult and promised them that they could still stay in the land if they observed His commandments:
2 Kings 21:8-9
“And I will not make the feet [regel] of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.”
But they did not listen, and Manasseh seduced them to do evil more than the nations whom YHWH destroyed before the sons of Israel.
Eventually, Israel slipped further and further into disobedience and they had to be accountable for their actions:
Thus says YHWH to this people, “Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet [rag’lehem] in check. Therefore YHWH does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account.”
Unable to keep “their feet [rag’lehem] in check”, they were forced to leave the land they had claimed as theirs. With the Babylonian exile, their feet shuffled them out of the promised land and into foreign territory where they became the hostages of their enemy. Their feet had slipped way off the path of YHWH, and this was the result.
As image bearers we are to follow God’spath intended for us… and to wander on the earth bringing goodness to it. Although the feet of the Hebrew people had slipped, God would help them regain solid ground. For those who put every effort into staying on the straight path of God, YHWH would not let their feet stumble:
Come and see the works of God, who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men. He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot [b-ragel]; there let us rejoice in Him!
He rules by His might forever; His eyes keep watch on the nations; let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah. Bless our God, O peoples, and sound His praise abroad, who keeps us in life and does not allow our feet [rag’lenu] to slip.
In fact, YHWH doesn’t just stop us from slipping, He actually catches us when we fall:
Psalm 94:17-19 (see also Psalm 121)
If YHWH had not been my help, my soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence. If I should say, “My foot [rag’li] has slipped,” Your lovingkindness, O YHWH, will hold me up. When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.
Remove your Sandals, Clean your Feet
Removing dusty, dirty, shoes before entering one’s house is a sign of consideration and respect. In the same way removing dusty, dirty, shoes before coming into the presence of YHWH was what Moses needed to do before entering God’s Holy space.
Exodus 3:1-5 (see also Joshua 5:15)
Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of YHWH appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvellous sight, why the bush is not burned up.”
When YHWH saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet [rag’leka], for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”
Feet take a very interesting role when it comes to Tabernacle/Tent rituals. The feet were, generally the dirtiest part of the body. Roads were dusty, animal dung lined the streets, making the washing of feet was very important for sanitary, and scent related, reasons. The Bible made it clear… you needed to address the issue of your stinky feet when you were in the presence of YHWH. God instructed the Hebrew people to have a place to wash their hands and feet before entering the Tabernacle:
Exodus 30:17-21 (See also Exodus 40:30-32)
YHWH spoke to Moses, saying, “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base of bronze, for washing; and you shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it. Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet [rag’lehem] from it; when they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, so that they will not die; or when they approach the altar to minister, by offering up in smoke a fire sacrifice to YHWH. So they shall wash their hands and their feet [w-rag’lehem], so that they will not die; and it shall be a perpetual statute for them, for Aaron and his descendants throughout their generations.”
But Yeshua turned everything around. Although He was the living presence of God, and people should have presented themselves clean in front of Him, He demanded nothing of the like from the people who were with Him. Instead of demanding that they wash their feet, He took it upon Himself to wash their feet for them.
Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.”
Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.”
Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”
So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”
They were to wash the peoples feet, a humbling act of servitude… but this also meant they were preparing others to be in the presence of God. Being a servant to humanity meant presenting God to people in humility and love.
When Yeshua commissioned His students to share the message of God, He told them this curious thing:
And He [Jesus] said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.”
This was a physical statement identifying that the people of the town had rejected the Messiah. The disciples were willing to cleanse the people, and wash their feet, and present them the beautiful message of YHWH… that they were redeemed. But the people rejected the message and so the presence of God, by their own decision, was not among them. The disciples shook the dust of their feet, letting it fall in the village amongst the unclean, as they walked out of town.
Falling at the Feet
Another common theme in the Bible was falling at someone’s feet… a dramatic gesture of personal agony and humility. Abigail fell at David’s feet (1 Samuel 25:24) to stop him from battling her entire household because of the obstinacy of her husband, Nabal. Without her intervention hundreds could have died.
Not only did Abigail convince David to stop the slaughter, she also prophesied that David would have an “enduring house” (1 Samuel 25:28) and that he would be protected by YHWH:
1 Samuel 25:29
“Should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, then the life of my lord [David] shall be bound in the bundle of the living with YHWH your God; but the lives of your enemies He will sling out as from the hollow of a sling.”
She then prophesied his impending rulership over Israel (1 Samuel 25:30) and asked David the following: “When YHWH deals well with (you) my lord, then remember your maidservant.” (1 Samuel 25:31b). After Nabal’s death David took Abigail, the widow, as his wife. Her response reflected her humbleness:
1 Samuel 25:40-42
…“Behold, your maidservant is a maid to wash the feet [rag’leh] of my lord’s servants.” Then Abigail quickly arose, and rode on a donkey, with her five maidens who attended her; and she followed the messengers of David and became his wife.
But Abigail was not just humble, she was a prophet presenting YHWH’s Kingdom to David. In her wisdom she showed that this Kingdom was not meant to be a kingdom of war, but a kingdom of servitude. As we have seen, centuries later David’s descendant, Yeshua (Jesus), would also wash the feet of the lowly.
Esther was another Biblical woman who fell at the feet of her husband, Ahasuerus, king of Persia:
Then Esther spoke again to the king, fell at his feet [w-tippol lif’neh rag’law], wept and implored him to avert the evil scheme of Haman the Agagite and his plot which he had devised against the Jews. The king extended the golden scepter to Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king.
Because of her humility, the king allowed Esther to speak, and she exposed the evil plot of Haman, who had planned o annihilate the Jews. For his deception, Haman was hung. In her bravery, Esther saved an entire population of Hebrew people.
Abigail and Esther fell humbly at the feet of powerful men, and ended up saving thousands of lives.
In an inversion of the theme, Jael also helped save lives of the Hebrew people, although she herself was not a Hebrew. The Canaanite king Jabin was at war with the Israelites. His army commander, Sisera, fled from the Hebrew people in battle. Jael, from a neighbouring tribe who was at peace with the Canannites, welcomed him into her tent and then killed him with a tent peg as he slept. After that “the hand of the sons of Israel pressed heavier and heavier upon Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin the king of Canaan” (Judges 4:24). Jael, a supposedly neutral party, chose to assist the Hebrew people and king Jabin’s whole nation fell as a result.
Deborah, the judge and prophet, wrote this poem about Jael:
“Most blessed of women is Jael,
The wife of Heber the Kenite;
Most blessed is she of women in the tent.
“He asked for water and she gave him milk;
In a magnificent bowl she brought him curds.
“She reached out her hand for the tent peg,
And her right hand for the workmen’s hammer.
Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head;
And she shattered and pierced his temple.
“Between her feet [rag’leha] he bowed, he fell, he lay;
Between her feet [rag’leha] he bowed, he fell;
Where he bowed, there he fell
Sisera fell down at Jael’s feet, not in humility, but in defeat. He bowed down to death, submitted his wickedness, and put an end to the oppression of the Hebrew people under the hand of the Canaanite king, ushering in forty years of peace (Judges 5:31).
Falling at Yeshua’s Feet
In the B’rit Chadashah (New Testament), Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, fell at Yeshua’s feet in agony over the death of her brother:
Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet [podas], saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.
Mary wasn’t the only one to fall at Yeshua’s feet: Jairus, a synagogue leader, fell at Yeshua’s feet begging Him to heal his daughter (Mark 5:22); the Syrophonecian woman fell at Yeshua’s feet asking him to save her demon possessed daughter (Mark 7:25); a Samaritan leper fell at Yeshua’s feet in thanksgiving for healing him (Luke 17:16); and John fell at Yeshua’s feet in his great revelation:
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet [podas] like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
If we follow God, we will be released from the dungeons of death and be free. Falling at Yeshua’s feet ultimately meant being able to stand!
Following in the Footsteps
Following the Footsteps of the Creator is the path we were all meant to take. God has a path for each person to follow, and although we cannot always see Him, He leads the way:
“Behold, I go forward but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him; when He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him. But He knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot [rag’li] has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside.”
God’s path is often described as straight and level:
But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. My foot [rag’li] stands on a level place; in the congregations I shall bless YHWH.
Scripture tells us that God’s “word is a lamp to my feet [l-rag’li] and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). It is a clear, well-lighted path and He guides our footsteps.
I waited patiently for YHWH; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet [rag’lai] upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
A path that is straight, clear, and illuminated should be easy to walk down. And we don’t even have to walk it alone. God is our Guide! But we have to trust that He will actually guide us through this dark world. This isn’t an easy world to wander in… there are all sorts of twists and turns, but God’s path is straight, if we just choose to follow it.
David said, “My eyes are continually toward YHWH, for He will pluck my feet [rag’lai] out of the net” (Psalm 25:15). When we get caught up in the thorns, if we keep our focus towards God, He will save us.
Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet [rag’leka] and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil [haser rag’l’ka mera].
If we trust in YHWH we won’t stumble; we will make our way back to God’s presence, in the light of the living:
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? Your vows are binding upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings to You.
For You have delivered my soul from death, indeed my feet [rag’lai] from stumbling, so that I may walk before God in the light of the living.
God is our Guide along the path that brings us back to Him… but He also sends Guards:
For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot [rag’leka] against a stone.
Angels would protect us so we would not strike our foot, or stub our toes, or walk into any barrier that halts us from finding our way back to God. These Guards would help us along the path so that we don’t get hurt in the process.
In an interesting turn of events, the Adversary (ha-satan) tried to turned Psalm 91 against Yeshua:
Luke 4:9-12 (See also Matthew 4:5-7)
And he [ha-satan]] led Him [Jesus] to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard You,’ and, ‘On their hands they will bear You up, so that Your will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put YHWH your God to the test.’”
Yeshua didn’t need the angels to protect His feet, and He certainly wouldn’t throw Himself off the path that He had come to earth to follow. As the Messiah, He had a purpose… His path led to death and salvation.
God had a plan. We are in His hands and by following the feet of YHWH, and receiving His Word, we will be saved. Moses said, “Indeed, He [YHWH] loves the people; all Your holy ones are in Your hand, and they followed
in Your steps Your feet [l-rag’leka]; everyone receives of Your words.” (Deuteronomy 33:3)
Hannah wrote that YHWH “ keeps the feet [rag’leh] of His godly ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; for not by might shall a man prevail.” (1 Samuel 2:9).
Ultimately we are on a path heading to His dwelling place:
Let us go into His dwelling place; let us worship at His footstool [la’hadohm rag’law].
In Psalm 110 there is a discussion between YHWH and His Messiah:
YHWH says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet [h’dohm l-rag’leka].” YHWH will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; in holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew. YHWH has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Feet in Prophecy
The Messiah, as the forever priest from the order of Melchizedek (meaning “My King is Righteous”), was predicted throughout the Tanakh. (See Hebrews 7). He would be the forever priest AND the forever King from Judah:
“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet [rag’law], until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”
Ezekiel prophesied that Jerusalem would be the dwelling place of this Forever-King:
And the glory of YHWH came into the house by the way of the gate facing toward the east [the East Gate in Jerusalem]. And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of YHWH filled the house.
Then I heard one speaking to me from the house, while a man was standing beside me. He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet [kappowt rag’lai], where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever.”
Zechariah prophesied that one day God’s Presence would stand on the Mount of Olives:
In that day His feet [rag’law] will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then YHWH, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!
Isaiah prophesied that all former enemies of YHWH would come and bow down at His feet:
“The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I shall make the place of My feet [rag’lai] glorious. The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, and all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet [kappowt rag’layik]; and they will call you the city of YHWH, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”
Stand on your Feet! [A’mowd al rag’leka!]
Knowing that God has a plan to save us and redeem us… (and allow our feet to march us towards the new Promised Land where we will be able to face YHWH in His glorious Garden)… should give us the courage to stand on our feet:
Then He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet [a’mowd al rag’leka] that I may speak with you!” As He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet [al rag’lai]; and I heard Him speaking to me.
If you are filled with the Spirit, you can stand on your feet. Sometimes, we can’t seem to do it alone; we have to trust in the Spirit to raise us up. Ezekiel was one who needed the strength of the Spirit to stand:
…and behold, the glory of YHWH was standing there, like the glory which I saw by the river Chebar, and I fell on my face. The Spirit then entered me and made me stand on my feet [al rag’lai]…
But it’s not just through the living that the Spirit can enter, YHWH can do anything… which includes making the dead rise:
Ezekiel 37:10 Valley of the Bones
So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet [rag’lehem], an exceedingly great army.
Breath and Spirit are the same word in Hebrew (ruach). In Ezekiel’s vision the breath/spirit entered into the dead and they stood at attention. Even bones will stand on their feet at at the call of God.
Paul knew that all, those who lived and died for the Lord, would stand in the strength of YHWH:
Romans 14:4, 7-10
Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand…
…For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Messiah died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
Our feet will stand at the judgement seat, but with Yeshua’s sacrifice we have been forgiven and redeemed! Sadly, for many people, that sacrifice means very little to them. But we recognize that our feet have often led us astray, and we have often wandered far off the path that leads us back to YHWH.
Yeshua washed the feet of his disciples, humbly preparing them to meet their God. But there was a woman in Yeshua’s day who washed His feet with her tears, anointing the Messianic King with oil (perfume) and preparing Him for the death He was about to face. All who were about to be in God’s presence were to wash their feet, so she washed Yeshua’s feet with her tears before He returned to the Presence of God. It was a beautiful, prophetic, statement, but Simon the Pharisee couldn’t see it. All he could see was a sinful woman in front of him:
Luke 7:36-50 (See also John 12:3)
Now one of the Pharisees [Simon] was requesting Him [Jesus] to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”
And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.”
“A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?”
Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
What was she saved from? The finality of death. She was fully forgiven, and she could rise up on her feet and not be a slave to death. Eternal life in the Garden, in the presence of YHWH, in the Land of the Living, was hers to walk into. It’s yours too!
For You have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet [rag’li] from stumbling. I shall walk before YHWH in the land of the living.
Next week: Anxiety