Centuries ago in Italy, an artist about to paint a picture of the Madonna and the Child after long search found a beautiful young peasant woman with a lovely child at her breast. He selected them for his model, and the picture was painted and hung in one of the galleries. Long afterward he was at work on a New Testament scene which brought in Judas. He searched through the criminal quarters of the city and among the baser elements of the population, and at length in one of the jails he found a desperate, wicked man sentenced to death for his crimes against mankind. He chose this evil, sinister face as his model for Judas Iscariot. Day after day he went down to the prison and sketched the face of this criminal. Working on the painting in his studio one day, he saw something about the face that made him wonder. Day after day he puzzled over the matter, and at last the secret flashed upon him—it was the same face that he had painted long ago as the infant Jesus!
Judas represents one of the strange mysteries of life, the capacity for good and the capacity for evil which resides within every human breast. It is because we have those two possible men in us that we must ever do what Christ warned us to do, "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation" (Mark 14:38)—and betray the nobler self within us.