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“What Does It Really Look Like to Put Others First?” by Hayley Hutchins

“What Does It Really Look Like to Put Others First?” by Hayley Hutchins

This verse, Mark 10:45, has been stuck in my head: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.” I did a double take last time I read it . . . for EVEN the Son of Man? I checked a few different translations and they all phrase it that way. Jesus makes a statement that he says applies to all of us, even himself. But I’m like, wait a second, why does it say “even”? Like duh that Jesus came to serve. What else is our faith even about? Why does Mark emphasize that point? So I’ve been ruminating on this passage.

I work as an attorney. On Friday a client came into our office. “I’m at the end of my rope,” he announced, and stared at me expectantly, asking me to help coordinate some housing for him for that night. I told him, “I’m sorry, sir, I’m an attorney, I’m not a social worker, I don’t know how to do what you’re asking me to do.”

“But you’re my advocate!”

I tried to wiggle out of it for a second, telling him that he wasn’t an active client with our office, but he insisted, “You’re my advocate, you have to help me!”

That word advocate was heavy on me. Lawyers ask for things on the behalf of their clients. It’s our job. The man standing in front of me was not wrong–what else was I here for if not to ask for things for people. It’s literally my job.

Jesus is our advocate. He goes to bat for us in front of the Father. It’s why God sent Him to us, out of love, to make a way. I think I take that for granted sometimes. Like, of course He will do that for me, it’s His job, it’s why He came. In Mark 10, the disciples are discussing who will have the honor of being at Jesus’s right and left hands in heaven. They see the Son of Man in terms of His true identity, King of the Jews, the chosen Messiah, the ruler of eternity. They are laser-focused on His position of honor and glory. And Jesus flips the script on them and exhorts them that real leaders serve others and put their own interests last. He sets up the standard that has defined our faith but must have seemed so bizarre to the disciples at the time: true glory is giving your life up.

It’s easy for me to forget how earth-shattering that truth really is, that my Jesus is a servant-Savior. It’s also easy for me to forget that my role as His disciple is to follow His example and serve others first. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.