We should notice, in these verses, the exceeding hardness of heart to which a backsliding professor may attain.  We are told that Judas, one of the twelve apostles, became a guide to those who took Jesus.  We are told that he used his knowledge of the place of our Lord’s retirement in order to bring His deadly enemies upon Him, and we are told that, when the band of men and officers approached his Master in order to take Him prisoner, Judas “stood with them.”  Yet, this was a man who, for three years, had been a constant companion of Christ, had seen His miracles, had heard His sermons, had enjoyed the benefit of His private instruction, had professed himself a believer, had even worked and preached in Christ’s name!  “Lord,” we say, “what is man?”  From the highest degree of privilege down to the lowest depth of sin there is but a succession of steps.  Privileges misused seem to paralyze the conscience.  The same fire that melts wax hardens clay. – J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), commenting on John 18.3-9.

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