Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me. John 17:24.
Christ was infinite in wisdom, and yet He thought best to accept of Judas, although He knew what were his imperfections of character. John was not perfect; Peter denied his Lord; and yet it was of men like these that the early Christian church was organized. Jesus accepted them that they might learn of Him what constitutes a perfect Christian character. The business of every Christian is to study the character of Christ. The lessons which Jesus gave His disciples did not always harmonize with their reasonings…. The Redeemer of the world ever sought to carry the mind from the earthly to the heavenly. Christ constantly taught the disciples, and His sacred lessons had a molding influence upon their characters. Judas alone did not respond to divine enlightenment. To all appearances he was righteous, and yet he cultivated his tendency to accuse and condemn others….
Judas was selfish, covetous, and a thief, yet he was numbered with the disciples. He was defective in character, and he failed to practice the words of Christ. He braced his soul to resist the influence of the truth, and while he practiced criticizing and condemning others, he neglected his own soul, and cherished and strengthened his natural evil traits of character until he became so hardened that he could sell his Lord for thirty pieces of silver.
Oh, let us encourage our souls to look to Jesus! Tell everyone how dangerous it is to neglect the soul’s eternal healthfulness by looking upon the diseased souls of others, by talking upon the uncomeliness of character found in those who profess the name of Christ. The soul does not become more and more like Christ by beholding evil, but like the evil which it beholds….
Let us remember that our great High Priest is pleading before the mercy seat in behalf of His ransomed people. He ever liveth to make intercession for us…. The blood of Jesus is pleading with power and efficacy for those who are backslidden, for those who are rebellious, for those who sin against great light and love…. He will not forget His church in the world of temptation.—The Review and Herald, August 15, 1893.