This little meme triggered some good conversation and controversy. Let me answer these things with an entire blog post, because I think there’s some good truth’s hidden in all this.
“Jesus is not your bellhop, that’s just disrespectful.”
Yes, well something a whole lot more disrespectful and demeaning was actually crucifixion. Jesus didn’t just humble Himself enough to carry our baggage, He died in the most demeaning, torturous way possible. The cross is disrespectful, it is offensive, and so too in a much smaller way is the realization that we cannot carry our own baggage alone. It is not that Christ is unworthy to be our bellhop, it is that we are unworthy, and so He graciously carried us.
“I’m to take up my cross myself and follow Him,”
Well yes, but to take up one’s cross is not the same as packing one’s own luggage! To take up your cross is more related to dying to your own flesh. So more like setting down our luggage. Nobody can actually pack all that baggage around…. and carry a cross at the same time. Way too heavy, too cluttered.
Jesus Christ washed His disciples feet, something that turns our human hierarchies on their head. In the human world we tend to look at these more humbling tasks as something done by the unworthy, where the one having their feet washed is at the top of the food chain. Those are all human deceptions that revolve around status, worth, and assigned worldly value. Jesus Christ flipped that all over and told us that the, “last shall go first and the first last.” Then their leader, their Most High, washed their feet.
That can be disconcerting. When someone far better than you shows you grace and puts you in the position of having to receive, it is humbling. It makes us vulnerable, not in control, and somewhat dependent on the mercy of another.
Receiving is hard. Humbling.
Recently I’ve been reminded about how much parents want to be involved in their kids lives, most of them anyway. They want to be a part of you,they want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. They care about you, they want you to phone home now and then and not keep things to yourself.
Our heavenly Father is like that too, except He already knows what burdens we try to carry alone. Like a human parent, I suspect He may be more hurt by our unwillingness to share our baggage with Him, rather than our tendency to drop it all at His feet in a big messy pile.
As to bellhops, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to look at them too, and not see disrespect and humiliation, but rather to see Jesus Christ in them, carrying our luggage for us, too.
Also, try to travel light in the world. You don’t need half as much stuff as you think you do.