Mark 15 Lesson

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

ENVY

Why was Jesus killed?

Pilate asked the blood-thirsty crowd if they wanted to release Jesus. He asked them, “What evil has He done?” But the crowd persisted and yelled, “Crucify Him!”

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 that record the motive of the chief priests (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 that Satan will use jealousy and envy to get us to do things that we might otherwise not do.  If we are not careful, jealousy and envy can start us on a slippery slope that jeopardizes our souls! 

The Bible has plenty to say about envy and jealousy.  The more we study the Bible, the better prepared we will be to protect ourselves against these evil forces!

SIX BIBLE VERSES ABOUT ENVY AND JEALOUSY

  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. Thiswisdomis 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.

OUR MOTIVES MATTER

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, and he will use our own selfish ambition to do his dirty work. And if we are not careful, we can become tempted to do things that we know are wrong because we believe it will benefit us personally.

This brings us to a fundamental question about our faith. Why do we do the things that we do?

God wants our motives to be pure. He wants us to do the things that we do for two reasons:

  1. To glorify Him,
  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.

BEING CONTENT

Instead of being jealous of the things we do not have, God wants us to be thankful for the things that we do have. Consider these three Bible verses about being content:

  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.

GIVING THANKS

A healthy habit to get into is to actively think about the things we are thankful for, and then offer a prayer of thanksgiving.  When we focus our energy on being thankful for the things that we have, instead of being jealous about the things we are lacking, the Bible says we will become physically healthier and even can 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 in several of the Apostle Paul’s epistles. For example, he wrote about the importance of giving thanks to the churches in Thessalonica, Colossae, and Philippi:

  • 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.

CONCLUSION

God has a plan for all His children.  Wherever we are in life, it is exactly where God wants us to be. 

  • “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, we are to be content and give thanks to God.  Instead of rebelling against God’s plan, we need to embrace it!

God understands our hearts, and He knows the motivation behind our actions. If we are acting to glorify God and serve others, we are following the perfect example of Jesus.

On the other hand, if we are acting out of selfish ambition to satisfy our own egos or to pursue our own worldly lusts, we put our souls at risk.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following scripture:

  • 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

Comments

Michael

One thing that we can do is to get ourselves a new crowd. If we are keeping company with other believers, this problem should rarely occur. If our group of friends are not believers and they are doing things that we do not believe are right, maybe we need to reassess the company that we are keeping. As it says in 1 Corinthians 15:33 "Bad company corrupts good morals." We are responsible to God for our behavior, even if somebody else initiates that bad behavior.

We can also increase the likelihood that we will follow our understanding of what the Bible says is right by spending more time reading and thinking about the application of the Bible.

It is good to read the Bible. It is even better to think about how it applies to us and to modify our behavior appropriately to be more like Christ.

Reply
Donna JesusFollower

In order for me to stay true, I need to be consistently in the Word of God, consistent in prayer asking for God to keep His Spirit close and guide me through or around 'the crowd' so that I am always following Him, regardless of what is occurring in the world.

I imagine myself as a little girl gripping tightly to my Father's hand, as he navigates me through each day.

Reply
Michael
Donna JesusFollower

Amen

Reply
Tommy

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.

Reply