Mike Rowe, "Dirty Jobs" and Jesus

I think most of America loves that guy, Mike Rowe. Mike's humble, witty and can talk to just about everyone. My family loves his old show "Dirty Jobs" and listening to him narrate "Deadliest Catch". We really like his newest show featured on CNN called, "Somebody's Gotta Do It". The premise of this new show, like the old one, is that there are some people out there doing things that nobody else wants to do.

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Many of the favorite episodes involve Mike in precarious situations with animals and the mess they make. Sometimes he crawls inside large machines to fix or maintain them. Then there are the shows where he is cleaning up after people like the lift pump sterilizer. "This is one of the last hands-on jobs in waste water management, and it is decidedly gross. "What makes the job horrible is that you've got to get the broken lift out and the new one in," said Rowe. "To do this, you have to wade–and sometimes swim–through human waste."

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So what's all this got to do with Jesus? I think this is why I'm so attracted to Him. He does all the dirty jobs none of us want to do. The Bible gives us episode after episode of a man who walked through communities and faced the worst of the worst. One of my favorite episodes is about Legion, the demon possessed man. (Found in Mark 5) This guy was naked and living in tombs, cutting himself and crying out constantly. Jesus confronts him first by asking him his name. Do we even do that? Do we even bother to get the name of the hurting people we encounter day to day? How simple is, "What is your name?"

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Jesus goes on to speak to the demons themselves and casts them into a herd of two thousand pigs who hurl themselves off a cliff into the ocean. Weird, right? All who saw were amazed and Legion gets up, gets dressed and proclaims a new victorious life. That was a dirty job no one wanted to do. Christ comes along and faces it head on.

There are several other messy situations. Many include healing physical ailments. Sometimes Christ even gets dirty himself by spitting and making mud to heal a blind man's eyes. (John 9) Again, weird! There's so much speculation about why he uses the spit and the mud. And we question, "Why does the God of the universe need to use any tools to heal?" Maybe it's as simple as He was showing us he was willing to get dirty for our sakes.

Finally, the night of His arrest, Jesus finds Himself in a "Somebody's Gotta Do It" situation and for a moment asks the Father if there's any other way. Thankfully, He yielded to His Father's will and took up his cross. The bloodied knees, the welts on his back and eventual spikes in his wrists and feet. So ugly, disgraceful and painful but He was willing. Thinking of every human being on the planet as He went.

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And that's why I marvel. This "job" or "task" of saving humanity. So very messy. I can't fathom because I'm often too scared to confront the messy situations - the friend deep in sin, the homeless woman at the fast food restaurant cursing loudly or even asking for some stranger's name so I could pray for them.

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Perhaps instead of watching the episodes and treating them like some spectacle, I need to...we need to follow Mike Rowe's example. Not take ouselves so seriously and jump in. Try cleaning up that mess or putting ourselves in someone else's place to see what it's like to be them. That's exactly what our Savior did.

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