The souls of the Pharisees were imprisoned by their jealousy of Jesus. Have you ever seen a jealous person? Like a half-starved dog digging through the foul-smelling trash is the person caged with jealousy. Trapped by rage he begins to feed himself on the filth of his own imagination. Jealousy, says Solomon in Proverbs 6:34, is the rage of a man.
Here is the way jealousy works. I love something very much, indeed, too much. I pursue it with zeal. I desire it! But the thing I love steps out of my hands and passes on to another. I begin to experience the gnawing pangs of jealousy. Strangely the feelings of love and zeal begin to change. By the dark transforming power of sin, my love turns to hate. Once I was open, happy, filled to the brim with delight; but now I am filled with rage at someone over something. Jealousy has now gripped my soul and refuses to turn loose. Thus it was with Cain, he was jealous of Abel. So it was with Saul, he was jealous of David. Thus it was with the Pharisees, as they were jealous of Jesus.
Anyone who has experienced deliverance from this horrible parasite knows all too well the damage it can cause. Jealousy will decimate a friendship, dissolve a romance and destroy a marriage. It will shoot tension through the ranks of a staff and even a church. Jealousy with nullify team unity. It will foster bitter competition among choir members or staff members. It causes finger pointing! Jealousy will question motives and it will deplore the success of another.
Jealousy and envy have often been used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Envy begins with empty hands, mourning for what it doesn’t have. Jealousy begins with full hands, and it is threatened by what it loses or thinks it may lose.May our daily cry to God be, “Lord, keep me clean from jealousy.”
✞ Don’t become like a Pharisee – full of jealousy.
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