Day 99: Jealousy

John 12:9-11 : A large crowd therefore of the Jews learned that he was there, and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests conspired to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

As you might guess, the news about Lazarus’ resurrection spread and people decided to travel out to Bethany to see the guy who was raised from the dead, and the One who did it. This sign was very convincing to the Jews. People decided to no longer support the views of the chief priests and Pharisees. Instead, they believed Jesus. Obviously, this wasn’t going to go over well with the Jewish leaders, however. Then they began to display, possibly the worst kind of jealousy, perhaps the worst that I have ever heard of.

We already know that these Jewish leaders planned to kill Jesus, but in their envy, they “conspired to put Lazarus to death also.” It is difficult for me to understand the depth of this. They hated loosing popularity so much, that they would not only kill, but kill someone who was innocent and had died once already. This is pretty extreme. It came with an extreme blindness too.

In their hatred, they were unable to see that it was futile to kill a person who had died once. Even scientifically, it is more likely that if he was raised the first time, he could be raised a second time. Not only that, who do they think they are dealing with? Jesus is obviously significantly more powerful than any man who they had ever known and they were deciding to challenge His power?

Proverbs 27:4 : Wrath is cruel, and anger is overwhelming; but who is able to stand before jealousy?

Thank God that He has saved us from the trap of jealousy. Any of us can enter this blindness. You may have been blind this way yourself at one time, but Jesus is more powerful than our sin and He can save us from it.

Romans 13:13,14 : Let us walk properly, as in the day; not in reveling and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and lustful acts, and not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, for its lusts.

The Jewish leader’s actions also show how they looked at the outward appearance rather than at a person’s actions and words. Even though Jesus’ words were good and His actions from God, they continued to treat Him like a poor man from Nazareth. They simply could not look past the outward appearance. We can be sure that when Jesus comes next time, they will be amazed at His glory and power and it will be too late. Jesus’ example tells us that who we are inside is of first importance. This is demonstrated by the fact that when He came the first time, He came in humility.