"They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, `Surely not I?'" (Mark 14:19).
"One of you will betray me!" They could hardly believe what Jesus had just told them. Given today's climate of slander, they could have said, "It has to be Judas! We always knew he'd come to this. He hates to part with that money, and he's so sneaky!" Neither did they say, "Lord, is it he?" No, they had learned their lesson well that judging is left to God. Each immediately thought of his own heart and motives, afraid that he, not another, was less than Jesus had shared and hoped.
The story is told of the preacher in a village church who wanted to bring home in a most forceful way the lesson of evil speaking and thinking. He had his church people go through each letter of the alphabet: A brags, B lies, C steals, D drinks, etc. When they had gone through the alphabet, he told them that they forgot to tell what "I" did. If we stop at "I" and all my sins, then we can't get to "U" and your sins!
We all have our secrets and guilts. We have dipped into dishes of sin and come up with defiled hands and hearts. We betray not by grand iniquities but by degrees in the little white lies we tell, in the harsh words by which we condemn, in the acts of omission and negligence that sometimes hurt more than overt acts of commission; yes, we have all sat at the Lord's table and supper and we have asked, "Is it I, Lord, who has crucified You yet again?" Too, by being less than what His gifts can make us, we betray Him through mediocrity and indifference.
Thirty shillings is such a meager sum with which to betray our Lord. Yet daily we sell out because we don't want to admit what we are capable of doing and saying: "Even if all fall I never will" (Matthew 26:33). "Lord, is it I who chooses bitter over better and, just as wrong, better over best? Let me kneel with you in Gethsemane that I may understand what I have done!"