and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; (Ephesians 6:15)
The foot gear Paul describes is in all caps indicating once more a quote from the Tanakh:
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" (Isaiah 52:7)
The leather sandals or bronze greaves (shin guards) of a Roman soldier are often used to picture for this piece of the armor. Like the "belt" above, the description of this part of the armor does not mention a particular piece of clothing. Instead, it says to have "feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace."
Let's examine each part of this phrase.
It is interesting that Paul would use the expression of feet being shod with this preparation. Why not our hands, arms, or some other body part? What is it we do with our feet that we do not do with any other body part? We walk! The disciple Yochanan had a few things to say about walking:
If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-7)
The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (1 John 2:4-6)
The Greek word here is hupodusamenoi which means "to bind under" as one might do a sandal. Acts 12:8 uses this word when the angel says to Peter "Gird yourself and put on your sandals." We generally don't protect our feet if we plan on taking a nap. It is something done to protect one's feet in preparation for walking.
The Greek word in Ephesians 6 is hetoimasia which means "preparation". Ephesians 6 is the only part of the Apostolic Writings that uses this word. The Septuagint uses this word in several places including Psalm 65:9 that speaks of preparation. It just means "being prepared" or "readiness."
Gospel of Peace
"Gospel" comes from an Old English phrase which means "good news." What is this "good news" of peace of which Paul writes? Romans 5:1 provides a summary:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)
This news is indeed good! Paul also says in Romans chapter 5 that we were once enemies of G-d. Through Messiah Yeshua, we are no longer enemies of G-d but are part of His kingdom.
We should have our Messiah-like walk bound, protected, and underpinned by the readiness that comes from the good news of being at peace with G-d.
Next on the list is the shield of faith.