Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 262

If We Want to Be Great, We Must Give Humble Service, September 12

And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. Luke 22:24.

The request of James and John to sit on the right and left of Christ's throne had excited the indignation of the others. That the two brothers should presume to ask for the highest position so stirred the ten that alienation threatened. They felt that they were misjudged, that their fidelity and talents were not appreciated. Judas was the most severe upon James and John.

When the disciples entered the upper room, their hearts were full of resentful feelings. Judas pressed next to Christ on the left side; John was on the right. If there was a highest place, Judas was determined to have it, and that place was thought to be next to Christ. And Judas was a traitor.

Another cause of dissension had arisen. At a feast it was customary for a servant to wash the feet of the guests, and on this occasion preparation had been made for the service. The pitcher, the basin, and the towel were there, but no servant was present, and it was the disciples’ part to perform it. But each of the disciples, yielding to wounded pride, determined not to act the part of a servant....

Looking at the disturbed countenances of His disciples, Christ rose from the table, and, laying aside His outer garment, which would have impeded His movements, He took a towel and girded Himself....

Judas was the first whose feet Jesus washed. Judas had already closed the contract to deliver Jesus into the hands of the priests and scribes. Christ knew his secret. Yet He did not expose him. He hungered for his soul. His heart was crying, How can I give thee up? He hoped that His act in washing Judas’ feet would touch the heart of the erring disciple and save him from completing his act of disloyalty. And for a moment the heart of Judas thrilled through and through with the impulse then and there to confess his sin. But he would not humble himself. He hardened his heart against repentance. He made no remonstrance, no protestation against the Saviour thus humiliating Himself. He was offended at Christ's act. If Jesus could so humble Himself, he thought, He could not be Israel's king....

Even Judas, had he repented, would have been received and pardoned. The guilt of his soul would have been washed away by the atoning blood of Christ. But, self-confident and self-exalted, cherishing a high estimate of his own wisdom, he justified his course.—Manuscript 106, 1903.

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