Envying goodness


Mark 15:10

For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up.

As Pilate observed the chief priests and listened to the charges they were bringing against Jesus, he perceived that Jesus was innocent and that the chief priests’ hatred of him was solely motivated out of envy.

What God reveals to us in Mark 15:10 is that the chief priests put Jesus to death because they were simply jealous of him.  They were envious of Jesus because he healed the blind, the deaf and those with chronic pain.  They were envious of him because he taught others how to love God and people, because he embraced and blessed children, because he was selfless and humble and because he would love you for your benefit no matter what, even if it meant offending you.  Basically, they were envious of Jesus because of His pure goodness.

Envy is when you are dissatisfied with what you have because someone else has something that you want.  And, they not only have what you want but you also think they don’t deserve to have it.  The sin of envy has nothing to do with the thing that you desire (the other person’s good fortune, possessions, looks or personality) but the destructive power of envy has everything to do with your belief that the other person truly does not deserve what they have.  Because you believe this, you resent the other person for having what they have and begin to resent what you have.

For the chief priests, they hated Jesus’ goodness and his influence because of his goodness.  He embodied and exuded holiness, truth and love, and they couldn’t stand it!  Why?  Because they thought he didn’t deserved it.  They wanted and thought they deserved to be the ones who were godly, wise and holy.  Who was this Jesus guy?  He didn’t go through their training, he didn’t pay his dues, and so he didn’t deserve to be so good, influential, powerful and wise.

When you see someone as deserving of what they have or of whom they have become, then you naturally do not envy them even if you want what they have.  Rather, you admire them.  However, when you believe that a person does not deserve what they have or deserve who they have become, that is when you begin to envy them.  Especially if you think that you are more deserving than they!

But can you see the problem here?  With God’s people, it is by His mercy and grace that we are what we are.  Therefore, no one is deserving of all the good and wonderful things that he has done for us and all the beauty that he has brought into our lives.  He lifts up the downtrodden and exults the lowly.  He takes the undeserving and humble and, by His grace alone, he exalts them, he uses them to encourage and bless others, he impacts whole communities, states and maybe even countries through them, and blesses them with more than they ever deserved.

Therefore, envy of another’s goodness and blessing has no place in the hearts and minds of God’s children.  If you find yourself envious of another brother or sister’s goodness or good fortune, then confess it to the Father and ask him to change your heart.  Ask him to help you see the truth that we are a people who absolutely do not deserve the blessed goodness that has come into our lives through the mercy of his Son.  Ask him to make you into one who rejoices with those who rejoice because you know that every good and perfect gift comes graciously only from him.