Mark 15 Lesson

Jealousy, Envy, And The Importance Of Giving Thanks To God


Why was Jesus killed?  

According to the Bible, there were two reasons:

  1. Jealousy,
  2. Envy.

In Mark Chapter 15we read about how Pilate asked the blood-thirsty crowd if they wanted to release Jesus.

Pilate understood that Jesus had done nothing wrong.  

He also understood the motivation behind the chief priests and their desire to see Jesus put to death.  

Mark writes:

  • “For he was aware that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.” -Mark 15:10.

Envy is defined as:

  • A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.” (Source: Google Dictionary)

Mark is one of two gospel writers who recorded the motives behind the chief priests and scribes Mathew 27:18, Mark 15:10).  

Both Mark and Mathew write about how Jesus was handed over to be crucified because the leaders of the day were jealous of Him! 

That is troubling to think about. 

It is also a warning to us about how Satan uses jealousy and envy to get us to do things that we might otherwise not do. 

If we are not careful, jealousy and envy can put us on a slippery slope of sin that jeopardizes our very souls! 


The Bible has plenty to say about jealousy and envy.

For today’s lesson, we have highlighted the following six verses:

  1. “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.” - James 3:16 ,
  2. “You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” - James 4:2-3,
  3. “A tranquil heart is life to the body, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.” - Proverbs 14:30,
  4. “For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?” – 1 Corinthians 3:3 ,
  5. “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdomis not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.” - James 3:14-15 ,
  6. Wrath is fierce, and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy?” - Proverbs 27:4.


The six scriptures above are a warning to us all to resist the evil, demonic, forces of jealousy and envy.  

This warning should not be taken lightly!  

Satan is a powerful adversary!

If we allow him to, he will use our selfish ambitions to do his work for him.

And if we are not careful, we can become tempted to do things that we know are wrong, simply because we believe they will benefit us personally.  

God does not want this, He wants our motives to be pure.   

He wants us to live our lives determined to do two things:

  1. To glorify God,
  2. To serve others.

As Christians, these two motives should drive everything that we do.  

Of course, we are not perfect as Jesus was, but that should not stop us from trying to do the right thing all the time.  

God wants us to do things for the right reasons, and He wants us to be satisfied in whatever situation we find ourselves in.  


Instead of being jealous about the things that we do not have, God wants us to be thankful for the things that we do have.  

Consider the following three verses.

They highlight the importance of being content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in:

  1. Make sure that  your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have.” -   Hebrews 13:5 ,
  2. “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity.” - Philippians 4:11-12 ,
  3. “But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.” - 1 Timothy 6:6-8 .

One of the ways that we can practice being content is by thanking God for all the blessings He has given us.  


When we focus our energy on being thankful for the things that we have, instead of being jealous about the things we do not, good things happen.

The Bible tells us that giving thanks allows us to improve our health, and even avoid sickness!  

  • “A tranquil heart is life to the body, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.” - Proverbs 14:30.

Giving thanks is a common theme throughout Paul’s epistles.

Paul wrote about the importance of giving thanks to the churches in Thessalonica, Colossae, and Philippi, as we see in the following three verses:

  • “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ,
  • “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” - Colossians 3:17 ,
  • “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” -  Philippians 4:6 .


God has a plan for all of us! 

  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11.

Instead of being envious of others, God wants us to be content and give thanks to God. 

Instead of rebelling against God’s plan, God wants us to embrace it!

If we are acting to glorify God and serve others, God recognizes our motives and is pleased with our behavior.

On the other hand, if we are acting out of selfish ambition or greed, we put our souls at risk.  

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following scripture from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians:

  • “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4


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1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


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Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?



It is sad to read. With all of the love and compassion that Jesus has for us sinners, to be betrayed and have crowds chanting, "Crucify Him." It must have been horrible. Yet He did it, because He loved us, and He knew we needed a Savior.