“And while they were eating, he said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, ‘Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?’” (Matthew 26:21-22).

None of the disciples could think that he was the traitor, yet none of them could be sure that he was not. Their Master knew better than they did; and so, from a humble knowledge of what lay in them, coiled and slumbering, but there, they would meet His words not with a contradiction, but a question. His answer spares the betrayer and lets the dread work in their consciences for a little longer for their good. We catch a glimpse here into the possibilities of evil that lie slumbering in all our hearts. In every soul there lies, like hibernating snakes, evils that a very slight rise in temperature will wake up into poisonous activity. Let no one say in foolish self-confidence that any form of sin is impossible. Remember, the essence of every evil is selfishness, and when you have that, you have the source of all wickedness in your heart.

Sin is living to the self instead of living to God. Any evil is possible to us, seeing that all sin is but yielding to tendencies common to us all. Cain killed his brother from jealousy; David committed adultery from lust; Judas betrayed Christ because he loved money. We all live in the same atmosphere. One sin opens the door for another and all sins hunt in packs. So, let us treat our lives with a wholesome self-distrust and say to ourselves as the Puritan looking at a man going to the scaffold said, “But for the grace of God, there go I!”

Adapted from In His Presence