By Martin Morrison
These boots are made for walking
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you
Nancy Sinatra the eldest of three children born to Frank Sinatra and his first wife, became famous with this hit Boots in 1965. She said, “The one hit song that I have tremendous gratitude for is Boots, because it has a life of its own. It’s like being identified with a brand name”.
Paul also talks about boots. And his boots also identify those wearing them with a brand! The Peace Makers. According to Markus Barth, Paul has in mind the caliga (half-boot) of the Roman legionary, which was made of leather, left the toes free, had studded soles, and was tied to the ankles and shins with more or less ornamental straps. These equipped him for long marches and prevented his foot from sliding.
“… and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace”, Ephesians 6:15. So these are gospel shoes, because the gospel brings peace. No doubt, Paul is quoting from Isaiah 52: 7, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, your God reigns”. From birth you are alienated from God and at war with God. The gospel of peace brings peace between you and God. Peace between you and your neighbour.
Let me be honest, right now I hesitate to watch CNN or listen to 702 or even read NEWS 24. Do I really want to spoil my day! Do I really need to know! There seems to be no peace in our world at all. Every news headline screams at us. Peoples, races, genders, nations. It seems as if everyone is angry; everyone is bitter; everyone is vindictive; everyone shouting; everyone screaming; everyone making ultimatums. The anger, the bitterness and aggression is raw. It’s vitriolic. It takes no prisoners. No-one is given any slack. There is no grace. It seems to spew out of mouths as if from a rotten sewer. Obscenities from both sides. There are no adults in the room. In fact, I feel so dirty and contaminated that I have determined not to watch any news or social media this weekend! I feel as if the boots of this broken, rotting world have walked all over me!
Have you ever thought of your feet as being beautiful! Go ahead. Take off your shoes and socks. Have a look! According to Jesus they are the most beautiful feet, especially when they bring a message of forgiveness, a message of peace, a message of grace, a message of reconciliation. Of course, your feet aren’t beautiful, unless they’ve been washed by the Lord Jesus himself, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me”, John 13:8. If you want to have beautiful feet, feet that bring the gospel of peace, you first need to be washed by Jesus. Not only by the water from his basin, by the blood from his body. You can’t be a messenger of peace unless you have first drunk deeply from the well of peace, “… whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again”, John 4:14.
Having been washed, having been filled, only now, can you share the gospel of peace with those drowning in their own anger and vindictiveness.
The devil fears and hates the Gospel of peace. Because it is God’s power to rescue people from the devil’s tyranny. The devil fears and hates the feet of those who bring grace and peace and reconciliation. The gospel of peace is not only a message, but a weapon. It is the most powerful weapon you can imagine. It is lethal and the devil hates it with a passion.
You see, it is supernatural. It’s a miracle! It’s able to reconcile rebellious man to his Creator. It’s able to reconcile two warring tribes. It’s able to break down impenetrable walls of hatred between peoples.
That’s why the devil hates it so much. That’s why it is such an important weapon in our armour.
“…as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace”.