Hands and Feet

Luke 24:39-40 “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When He said this, he showed them his hands and feet.”

We, as believers, often talk about the hands and feet of Jesus.

It is usually in the context of being the hands and feet of Jesus.

Within the Christian faith, we are taught that we are now the tangible force on the earth to carry forth the good works Jesus did in His humanity.

Our faith holds that we become the hands and feet of Jesus when we display compassion and love in tangible ways which help ease the burden of others.

It takes our hands and feet to show Jesus to a fallen world by partaking in acts such as feeding the poor, cleaning up areas after a natural disaster, or maybe just a random act of kindness to a stranger.

I love that the Christian faith calls us into action in a way that reflects the compassion Jesus had for all people.

Wanting to understand this concept a bit deeper, I searched the Bible for the words “hands and feet”, believing it would take me to scripture verses that would bring me to a new revelation of reflecting Jesus in my own life.

Surprisingly, I searched and found no verses containing that particular phrase.

I tweaked my search for anything that might even remotely show the popular concept of the meaning of that phrase.

I found nothing.

I was confused because for years I had heard the term “be the hands of feet of Jesus” used so much, and in so many situations, I was sure it was a Scripture verse!

Troubled, I brought my concern to a small group of believers I meet with weekly.

After detailing to them my search, a friend responded: “When you say ‘hands and feet of Jesus’ my first thought goes straight to the cross.”

I was floored by that observation.

I had never tied the concept of Jesus’ hands and feet and the cross together that directly.

Being the hands and feet of Jesus usually allows us to act out our faith in ways we enjoy the most. Our actions working in this capacity often elicits gratitude from people.

We see tears of joy directed to us and warm hugs of appreciation filling our souls.

For the most part, when we are the hands and feet of Jesus, we aren’t being criticized or mocked for our faith.

Given all of that, I wondered why the only specific reference to Jesus’ hands and feet in the Bible was in relation to the cross.

I begin to focus on what exactly it was that Jesus was doing with his hands and feet at the cross.

Obviously, Jesus needed his hands to carry the cross and His feet to walk to the place of crucifixion.

But the only common function both His hands and feet had was to receive the nails need to hold Him to the cross.

Practically speaking, the hands and feet of Jesus were submitted to the cross.

I believe this is very symbolic of Jesus being submitted to His Father and His Father’s will.

Jesus’ hands and feet on the cross give us a visual of the very foundation of obedience to the earthy charge He was given by His Father.

Perhaps this then becomes the foundation of the meaning of ‘being the hands and feet of Jesus.’

When we display our faith to the world in tangible ‘hands and feet of Jesus’ kind of ways, without remembering the most important role played by His hands and feet at the cross, something very powerful is missed.

The concept of being the hands and feet of Jesus must first be developed from a place of submission to our Creator and the will He desires in our life.

The question becomes, “Can we truly be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world if we have not totally submitted our own will to God?”

How often do we live out our own desires or agendas under the guise of faith?

How often are we frustrated when our ‘good works’ do not play out as we had hoped?

Because we live in such a fallen world, it is difficult to surrender our lives to God trusting totally in His grace and mercy alone.

But, this is exactly what we are called to do in order to have the same eternal impact on the world Jesus had during His earthly ministry.

The image of Jesus on the cross with nails in His hands and feet is a powerful declaration of His willingness to submit to the Father.

Through this picture, we are given the key to truly being the hands and feet of Jesus.

It is by submission and obedience to the Father, our works as the hands and feet of Jesus truly give a heavenly touch to the world.


Genesis 3:8 “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”

Genesis 5:22 “After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God for 300 years and had other sons and daughters.”

Genesis 6:9 “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”

Genesis 48:15 “Then he blessed Joseph and said, ‘May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day.”

The verses above all list a common relational thread between God and some of His beloved children.

Starting with Adam and Eve, we can follow this sweet pattern as it embraces Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Isaac.

The surprising element that ties all of these pillars of faith together is simply that they all walked with God.

Webster defines the verb walk in several ways, but there are two usages that best reflect the relationship between the Creator and His creation.

To walk can mean “to come or go easily or readily” and “to pursue a course of action or way of life”.

Of course the story of Genesis tells us that before the fall, Adam and Eve physically walked with God in the cool of the day.

What an incredibly sweet image that is!

Although there is debate as to whether or not the others physically walked with God, the word walked is still used to describe their relationship with God.

The term walk again implies to come or go easily.

Adam and Eve did not chase after God.

Enoch did not strive for God.

Noah did not search for God.

Abraham did not run after God.

Isaac did not hunt for God.

They all walked with God.

The pace they all kept with God was one that allowed them to come or go easily and readily within the relationship.

When walking with God, there is no need to hurry to a fixed end or rush to meet an undefined goal.

God met them at a tempo that would provide the best opportunity for them to savor the time they spent with Him and to grow in His grace.

I believe God intentionally set a ‘leisurely’ walking pace because He knew it was at this speed life and relationship is best enjoyed.

We find a similar pattern in the New Testament as well.

Jesus called men of various vocations to follow Him as disciples. Each had a unique job that carried with it a particular life rhythm. Yet these fishermen, tax collectors, and tradesmen, after encountering Jesus, took on His rhythm of life.

He showed them a slower pace of life that allowed time to engage and encourage people. They learned how to bring the good news of the coming Kingdom in a calm and purposeful way, unshackled from the striving and searching they had known before.

The more they walked with Jesus the more they began to pursue a course of action and way of life that was different than what the world taught and expected of them.

The new way of life was one in which walking with their ultimate Savior replaced chasing, striving, searching, running or hunting for what the world offered.

Through these examples, God is inviting all of us into a similar pace within our relationship with Him.

As we slow down and remove ourselves from the frantic tempo of the world, we are better able to experience relationship with our Father that is unhurried and life-giving.

During the times you feel far from God, check the pace in which you are moving through this life.

Perhaps you have fallen into a rhythm that is out of sync with the movement of God.

Pause long enough to hear Him calling you into a leisurely, life-giving stroll with Him.

Slow down and allow yourself to find rest within His gentle steps and easy stride.

Make it a life goal to come and follow in the footsteps of Adam, Eve, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Isaac by walking faithfully with God.