Then the high priest and all his associates… were filled with jealousy.
Jealousy, envy, the green-eyed monster! Whatever you call it, sometime or other, each of us senses this malicious passion creeping into our heart.
Unchecked, this pernicious sensation throttles every noble impulse and crowds out every positive emotion. Its victim temporarily blinded to everything but self! What about me?
Jealousy is such a kindred spirit to our fallen human nature that many make peace with it. Allow it to find comfortable residence in their hearts.
And here is a great irony. Jealousy not only disrupts the life of the one against whom it is directed, it reserves the greater harm for its host. It spoils everything for them.
Personal experiences teach us that of all the temptations to which we are liable, jealousy is the most destructive. Throughout human history - persistent and unobservable – it is the one recurring emotion most responsible for the terrible things humans plot, speak and do against one another.
Here the religious leaders are filled with jealousy. Being filled with something leaves no room for anything else. Not joy at the good fortune of another, not peace or mercy and certainly not love. Reason also takes its leave.
Here the religious leaders are found to fight against God Himself by arresting His servants for preaching about Jesus. They are so blinded by envy, that even when God miraculously frees them from jail, they seek to arrest them again.
To become a student of Jesus is to be freed from jealousy.
The Teacher leads us to recognize its insidious entry into our hearts and empowers us to reject it. Resting instead in the peace that God still cares for us completely and in the unthreatening truth that very often He blesses others in ways we hope for ourselves.