22.The disciples, therefore, looked on one another. They who are not conscious of any crime are rendered uneasy by what Christ has said: Judas alone is so stupid amidst his malice, that he remains unmoved. The authority of Christ was held in so great estimation by the disciples, that they were fully convinced that he said nothing without a good reason; but Satan had expelled from the heart of Judas all reverence, so that it was harder than a rock to reject every admonition. And though Christ appears to be somewhat unkind in inflicting this torture, for a time, on those who were innocent, yet as anxiety of this kind was profitable to them, Christ did them no injury. It is proper that, when the children of God have heard the sentence of the ungodly, they should themselves feel uneasiness, that they may sift themselves, and guard against hypocrisy; for this gives them an opportunity of examining themselves and their life.
This passage shows that we ought sometimes to reprove the ungodly in such a manner as not instantly to point the finger to them, until God, by his own hand, drag them forth to the light. For it frequently happens that there are secret diseases in the Church, which we are not at liberty to disguise; and yet the wickedness of men is not so ripe as to be capable of being laid open. In such cases we ought to take this middle path.