In the Upper Room on the night of the betrayal, Jesus dropped a bombshell.

He told the Twelve:   “One of you shall betray me.”

The Biblical record goes on to tell us that Judas Iscariot, of the twelve apostles, sold His Savior for 30 pieces of silver.

It is to the credit of the other disciples that they each ask:  “Is it I?”

They had a handle on the doctrine of original sin.  Each one knew he had it in him.  They understood there were hibernating snakes coiled in every heart.

The house of my neighbor’s life blows up all over the newspapers and I may smugly think I am above such a thing.

But my house too is built of wood and thatched with straw.  I have as much dynamite in my basement as he has in his.

Nor is any length of obedient service in the kingdom a guarantee against treachery and betrayal.  St. Paul himself voiced his concern that, after preaching to others, he himself might become a castaway.

Many a ship comes safely halfway around the world only to be broken to pieces in a storm just off the shore of home.

John Bunyan wrote in Pilgrim’s Progress that there is a back door to hell form the very gate of heaven.

Christ alone can guard the castle of our heart from things that attack from the outside or rise up from within.

When the heart is false, everything else goes bad in our hands too.  Then we break faith on a hundred levels – with God and with each other.

“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,” wrote the prophet Jeremiah.  “Who can know it?”

The truth is, we can’t “know it,” or understand it, or dissect it.  Sin was not meant to be analyzed but renounced, repented of, pardoned.

The lesson of two people who played false with God Himself is the subject of this morning’s portion of Acts.

God graciously guard your heart and mine!