One sin, trifled with — tampered with!
(John MacDuff, "Communion Memories" 1886)
"Jesus was in great anguish of spirit, and He exclaimed — The truth is, one of you will betray Me!" John 13:21
It was not the nail and spear which now entered His soul. It was the thought of injured goodness and unrequited love on the part of a faithless disciple. It was Sinless Purity Incarnate, wounded in the house of His friends. He wept over a whole city; now His mighty soul is bowed in sorrow by the base conduct of one apostle, and the keen anguish seems too deep for tears!
His name, Judas, means "praise of God." We have every reason to believe that he was once as earnest and faithful as his brother apostles — as unselfish in his motives as they, in joining Christ and the disciple-band. But covetousness — the base and degrading love of money — assailed him. In an evil hour he dangled its forbidden gold and silver chains — and they became fetters to bind him!
The master-passion by degrees . . .
took full possession of his soul;
dominated his will and affections;
crushed every lofty aspiration; and
left him, at last, a blighted, blackened ruin — demon-haunted and defiled! The most dreadful sin that ever stained the catalogue of creature guilt — came to brand with infamy, his name and memory.
Oh! let that unhappy traitor tell us, what one sin, trifled with — tampered with, can do!
"People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction." 1 Timothy 6:9