While in college; my youngest son always wore sandals. Everywhere he went; to class, to the beach, even to church, his feet were clad with sandals. His college was in Florida near the beach, so it was not unfitting shoe wear. We used to tell him he has Jesus’ feet, made for sandals.
Sandals were the shoe of choice in Bible times. In fact, these may have been the only type of shoes available to ordinary people during those days. Ultimately, the purpose of a shoe is to protect your feet.
Much of the population lived near water where sand abounds. One of life’s necessities involved foot washing, to help keep the sand out of people’s houses and their feet clean. It was a needful service, a kindness extended to wash another’s feet.
Sand under your bare feet feels good if it’s by the water. Sand in your sandals is a whole other story. On a hot day; your feet could be blistered in a skinny minute. Sandals were imperative because walking on them was the main mode of transportation.
Why did John say he was unfit to untie the sandals of Jesus’ feet? The soles of these sandals were held on by leather straps that came up the leg or around the ankle. Jesus; our salvation, came to this world wrapped in human flesh. He experienced every temptation such as is common to man. He had human needs just as we do. His feet had to be washed just as ours do.
Because of his amazing teaching; people began to ask if John was the Christ? That’s the reason he made the statement about himself being unfit to untie Jesus’ sandals. Jesus was his earthly cousin but also his Lord and Savior whom he adored. He truly loved him and shamelessly proclaimed him continually.
John felt unfit to untie the sandals of Jesus’ feet because he recognized Him as fully God and fully man. Although a necessary service; John realized his sinfulness and Jesus’ holiness.
We want to render service to our Lord but until we acknowledge our sinful state and His Holy state, we will not accomplish much for the kingdom of our Lord.
Prayer in Motion:
Lord, thank You for giving John the truth of Your holiness and glory. It’s my desire to glorify You the way your cousin John glorified you on earth. I want to love You more and serve You better with every day that You have ordained for me. In Jesus Name. Amen