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.