Stuck in the Mud

Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™  I AM Ministries

“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”

Normal I AM

Monday, January 2, 2017

Stuck in the Mud

Most people today know airlines offer three major classes of tickets: first class, business class, and coach. In first class, you get premium treatment – cushy seats, good food, complimentary beverages, private rest rooms, free movies, and more. Business class is not quite as special, but still very comfortable. Coach service and amenities, however, leave a lot to be desired.

What has been almost lost to history is the origin of they travel class offerings. In the wild, wild, west, stagecoaches also had three classes of tickets: first, second, and third. No food or beverage service was available. Period. The class distinction, however, was just as apparent. First class tickets were the most expensive and brought the most privilege. What you received for your investment was the guarantee that no matter what happened during the trip, you could remain in the stagecoach. This may not seem like much of a deal, but consider what travel was like without engine-powered vehicles.

Stagecoaches traveled dirt roads over rough terrain. If a steep hill were encountered, second and third class passengers were obligated to get out and help push the stagecoach up the hill. If it rained, roads became muddy and often the vehicle got stuck in the mud. Third class passengers received the privilege of struggling in the mud to extract the mired stagecoach. Their reduced ticket price bound them to invest “sweat equity” and to do whatever it took to allow the stagecoach to move forward.

Our human nature instinctively makes us avoid the mud and the dirt as much as possible. We all want to go first class and avoid the mud, not third class and the indignity of labor in muddy conditions. This perspective differs radically from the viewpoint to which our LORD Jesus Christ calls us, the one He demonstrated faithfully during His time on Earth. As King of Kings and LORD of LORDS, He could have commended all the privileges due Him. Yet He chose to show us He was willing to deal with the mud and the dirt that accompany human existence. His radical approach turned the value system upside down and inverted the hierarchy of privilege.

Jesus spent His first night on Earth in the filthy conditions of a barn. Similarly, Jesus spent part of His last night on Earth dealing with mud, dirt, and animal droppings. The disciples had gathered in the upper room for the Passover meal. Suddenly, Jesus got up from the meal and began to remove His clothing. An awkward mood enveloped the room. Uneasiness transformed quickly to horror. Jesus wrapped a towel around His waist, poured water in a basin, and did the unthinkable – He began to wash the dirt, mud, and manure covering His disciples’ feet. He then proceeded to dry them tenderly with a towel (John 13:2-5). Despite Peter’s objections, Jesus washed and dried the feet of all twelve disciples.

Jesus demonstrated how we often become stuck in the mud desiring extravagance and privileges. We become mired in the thought of how we are above stooping to help our fellow man get out of an unfortunate and sometimes messy situation. Jesus, however, showed us it is normal to be willing to deal with any type of dirt or mud that comes our way. He showed us how a first-class servant acts. The key is action, not sitting around observing others who are willing to be pampered.

A first class person in the eyes of God is the servant, someone who tries to emulate His Son. God considers it normal to throw away our baggage of privilege and to get down in the mud to assist our fellow man. He tells us to sacrifice our honor and status to help those who are the least in His kingdom (Matthew 25:35-40, Proverbs 17:5). First class passengers on stagecoaches weren’t willing to lower themselves into the mud. Jesus, however, showed us it is only by lowering ourselves to serve others that we can be released from the mire of our dirty thinking.

Do you find yourself stuck in the mud of privilege? Are you more interested in having others serve your needs rather than lending a hand to those who are truly in need? If so, call on Jesus Christ today. He is the ultimate servant, the One who can show us the Way to become great in the eyes of God. It was normal for Jesus to serve when He came to Earth. It is normal for Him to serve us now (Hebrews 7:25). It is normal for us to serve Him and our fellow man. How will you serve today?

Jeff Myers
A servant of Jesus Christ

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