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From Heaven With Love

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    The Great Miracle of Changed Hearts

    Judas, in choosing his position at table, had tried to place himself first, and Christ as a Servant served him first. John was left till last. But John did not take this as a rebuke or slight. When Peter's turn came he exclaimed with astonishment, “Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” Christ's condescension broke his heart. He was filled with shame to think that one of the disciples was not performing this service. “What I do,” Christ said, “thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” Peter could not bear to see his Lord, the Son of God, acting the part of a servant. His whole soul rose up against this humiliation. With great emphasis he exclaimed, “Thou shalt never wash my feet.”HLv 435.4

    Christ said, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me.” Christ had come to wash the heart from the stain of sin. Peter was refusing the higher cleansing included in the lower. He was really rejecting his Lord. It is not humiliating to the Master to allow Him to work for our purification.HLv 436.1

    Peter surrendered his pride. Separation from Christ would have been death to him. “Not my feet only,” he said, “but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.”HLv 436.2

    These words mean more than bodily cleanliness. Christ is speaking of the higher cleansing as illustrated by the lower. He who came from the bath was clean, but the sandaled feet soon again needed to be washed. So Peter and his brethren had been washed in the great fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. But temptation had led them into evil, and they still needed Christ's cleansing grace.HLv 436.3

    Jesus desired to wash the alienation, jealousy, and pride from their hearts. This was of far more consequence than washing their dusty feet. With the spirit they had, not one was prepared for communion with Christ. Until brought into a state of humility and love, they were not prepared to share in the memorial service Christ was about to institute. Pride and self-seeking create dissension, but all this Jesus washed away in washing their feet. A change of feeling was brought about. Jesus could say, “Ye are clean.” Now there was union of heart, love for one another. Except Judas, each was ready to concede to another the highest place. Now they could receive Christ's words.HLv 436.4

    We too have been washed in the blood of Christ, yet often the heart's purity is soiled. We must come to Christ for cleansing grace. How often we bring our sinful, polluted hearts in contact with the heart of Christ! How grievous to Him is our evil temper, our vanity, our pride! Yet all our infirmity and defilement we must bring to Him. He alone can wash us clean.HLv 437.1

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