I often wondered how the Pharisees and Sadducees could see the signs and wonders that Jesus performed and instead of wanting to embrace him they wanted to kill him. It drove them crazy when he healed or delivered a demoniac or when he raised the dead. I always supposed they didn’t want their system of religion disturbed by his radical message.
Yet there is another clue to their hearts that I never noticed before. When Jesus was arrested and went before Pilate he saw the motivation of the Jewish leaders. Matthew 27:18 says: “For he (meaning Pilate) knew that because of envy they had delivered him up.” They weren’t healing anyone; they weren’t casting out any demons; they never raised the dead and they had no ability to multiply loaves and fishes. As leaders they were coming up empty handed and that was no doubt pretty embarrassing.
Envy is very insidious; it is a slow burn. No one can see it on the outside of us for a long time. Envy gives birth to revenge, slander, hatred, and yes, even to murder. What starts as a tiny seed can grow to a wild enormous tree. We can coddle it along secretly until it explodes into the sin that has been in our heart all along.
Beware of any hint of envy popping up. Don’t tolerate it for a minute. Hold yourself back from comparisons with other people – their blessings, their spiritual gifts or their call of destiny from God. You too have blessings, gifts and a destiny. Don’t let envy rob you of their fullness.