The Shoes That Could Not be Filled
As a toddler, our daughter loved trying on her Daddy's large (size 10) footwear. His boots came all the way up to her hips as her tiny feet swam within the heels When she'd step into his shiny, black work shoes, she'd painstakingly try to take steps by sliding one shoe in front of the other. When she tried on her Daddy's sandals, she got frustrated when her small foot would not stay within the straps. As much as she wanted to fit into her father's shoes, that wasn't going to happen. These were shoes she would not be able to fill.
Numerous Bible verses speak of sandals, which were the common footwear of the time. For those who dealt in trade, handing over a sandal to another was a sign of keeping one's word. Other Scripture shows the removal of one's sandals when standing on Holy ground; for example, when Moses approached the burning bush in the desert in the presence of the Almighty.
Other Bible verses, such as in Luke 3:16, refers to the untying of the strap of Jesus' sandals. John the Baptist, while baptizing at the river, told the people, "I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
To untie the sandals of another (or to wash another's feet) was a task reserved for the lowliest of persons. It is not hard to imagine that sandals (and feet) became dirty from walking or traveling through the dusty desert environment. Instead of placing importance on himself, John the Baptist was glorifying the One (Jesus) who would come with authority to baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was crucified and died on the cross to save us from sin. His shoes were ones that could never be filled.
Our little girl hoped her feet would one day grow big enough to fill her Daddy's shoes, but that would not happen. Physically, she would never fit in them, and spiritually, she could never become the person he was.
We, too, may have tried to fit into the shoes of our earthly father and felt the frustration of not fitting. It would be unimaginable to even think of trying to put our feet into the "shoes" of our Father in Heaven--or those of His Son, Jesus. Fortunately, we are not expected to fit into those shoes! However, the Lord prompts us to grow in faith and to stay on the course He has set for us. By following in His footsteps, He leads us to Salvation and everlasting life--through Him.
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