Sandals On Our Feet

In Deuteronomy 25:5-10, when a brother refused to raise up offspring for his deceased brother, the childless widow would take the brother of her deceased husband before the elders at the gate of the city, which is where legal proceedings were held, and remove his sandal and spit in his face. (In Ruth 4:7 we find that the removal of the sandal was the attestation of all legal transactions.) The spit conveyed shame, but the removal of the sandal was a legal pronouncement of shame. The widow was to declare, “Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house. In Israel his name shall be called, ‘The house of him whose sandal is removed.’”


Jesus was spat upon as He was going to the cross. He took our shame to the cross. But, that is not the only picture we have of our shame being removed. In Luke 15:11-32, we have the account of the prodigal son. When the prodigal son comes to his senses and returns to his father’s house, the father saw him from a distance and ran out to greet him. What the son had done was shameful. In essence, he had said that he wished his father were dead, and he just wanted his money. He had lived shamefully and squandered the money with loose living. But when the repentant son returned, the father felt compassion for him, and kissed and embraced him. Then, the father ordered his slaves to put the best robe on his son, put a ring on his finger, and to put sandals on his feet. All of these actions are significant.


When we come to Christ, he clothes us with His righteousness. He puts a ring of authority on our hands. And, He puts sandals on our feet so that we are no longer “the house of him whose sandal is removed,” i.e. the house of shame. We have a wonderful Savior who forgives our sins, removes our shame, and restores our authority. If that were not enough, the Father said, “bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.” As believers, we have plenty to celebrate.

Remembering That Jesus Was Spit Upon

In Mark 10:32-34, Jesus was prophesying to His disciples about what was going to happen to Him in Jerusalem. He was going to be arrested, turned over to the Gentiles, spat upon, scourged, killed, and crucified. Then, in Mark 14:61-65, the prophecy came true. Jesus was arrested and taken to the religious leaders and scribes. They spat on Jesus and turned Him over to the Gentiles. In Mark 15:16-20, the Roman soldiers mocked Jesus, beat Him, spat upon, and crucified Him. As I meditated on the passage and asked the Lord about it, I was reminded of a couple passages that dealt with spit.

The first case of spitting was in Numbers 12:1-15. Aaron and Miriam had spoken against Moses, and the anger of the Lord burned against them. Miriam is struck with leprosy, and when Aaron sees this, he repents and asks Moses to forgive them for their foolish actions. Then, Moses cries out to God to heal Miriam. But, the Lord answers him and tells him that if a father spits in the face of his daughter, would she not bear her shame for seven days. The spit in the face signified shame.

Then, in Deuteronomy 25:5-10, we have a second example. When a man died before his wife had given him any children. The brother of the deceased man was to perform the duty of a husband and raise up a child for his dead brother. If a brother refused to do that, the wife of the deceased man would take the brother of her husband before the elders at the gate of the city, which is where legal proceedings were held, and remove his sandal and spit in his face. Then, she would declare, “Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.” Again, the spitting on a person signified shame.

When Jesus led His disciples in the Lord’s supper, He took the bread and said, “this is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” As we remember what the Lord did, we have to consider how He was also spat upon. Jesus healed us of our sins by His stripes. He took our sins to the cross, and forgave us of all sins. The spit in the face is also significant. Jesus did more than take our sins; He also took away our shame. For all the shameful things that I have done in my life, Jesus was spit upon in my place. God wants you and I to be free of shame. No matter what you have done in your past, God has dealt with the shame. The next time you partake of the Lord’s supper, take time to remember how He took away your shame.