Face Hands Feet

These are three parts of our body that receive different amounts of attention. We most often look in the mirror to either admire ourselves or find some discomfort in what we see, but nonetheless we pay most attention to our face. When we meet someone else we look them in the face not at their hands or feet.  Our hands seem to come in second in terms of attention. Feet seem to come in last in gaining attention and for the most part we are satisfied with them providing us with transportation.

An interesting question comes in regard to what should be the order with our approach to Jesus? If one listens to the common prayers of Jesus’ followers it would seem that they give most attention to his hands and what they can receive from them, with health and wealth coming at the top of the wish list.

It would seem that a more appropriate approach would be to seek his face, to look into his eyes with an attitude of welcoming love. It is only reasonable that we would approach anyone that we love by looking into their face. The Psalmist said in 27:8, "When Thou didst say, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to Thee, ‘Thy face, O LORD, I shall seek.’"

The scriptural invitation to "ask and you shall receive" seems to draw people to Jesus hands or maybe more accurately to their own hands, always stretched out to Jesus in a receiving mode rather than a giving one.

Jesus is continually found using his hands to give not to receive.  In Luke 24:50 "He lifted up His hands and blessed them." In Luke 4:40 "...and laying His hands on every one of them, He was healing them." And in Mark 10:16 Jesus in response to little children "...took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands upon them."

It is clear that Jesus knows how to use his hands to benefit his own, and the way to honor him would be to not always approach him with our eyes on his hands but rather give him more freedom to make the choice of how he is to care for us. The Psalmist aptly describes it this way. "The works of His hands are truth and justice; all His precepts are sure."

Jesus’ friend, Mary, seems to have captured the true spirit of devotion in her approach to the Savior. She chose his feet as reported in John 12:3, "Mary therefore took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume."

On another occasion in Luke 10:39 while her sister, Martha, was fussing in the kitchen, we find this statement, "And she had a sister called Mary, (a different Mary) who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching."

So it would seem that a good way to approach Jesus would be to sit at his feet, looking into his face and allow him to choose how he wishes to bless us from his hands.

Jack Purcell is a retired Army LTC and had a second career at two different Universities as Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs. In between he twice served in leadership roles in two different Exchanged Life Offices. He now lives with his wife Mary in Boerne TX where he writes a weekly column in the Boerne Star, called On The Journey.