If we want to avoid a murderous spirit taking control of us — as it did the religious leaders of the past — then we need to ensure that we take steps to combat jealousy.
Matthew 21:14-16 - Jealousy
Hello and welcome to the Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha. Today we will reflect on Matthew 21:14-16. Listen.
The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
Hosanna is a declaration of praise and joy. It is, simultaneously, a desperate cry for rescue. It comes from a Hebrew expression that could be read as “Save us!” Or “Praise to the Savior.” When Jesus continued healing the sick, *children* shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” One isn’t sure how much about Jesus they understood — they likely cried Hosanna because they had heard their parents shout the word when Jesus rode into Jerusalem — but it made the chief priests and the law teachers very mad.
Bad enough, this upstart had entered the temple courts and driven out all those who were buying and selling there, he then healed everyone who was sick, and now the little kids were shouting his praises. Matthew says they were “indignant,” but Mark and Luke say they began looking for ways to kill him. Such is the nature of jealousy, and if we want to avoid a murderous spirit taking control of us — as it did these religious leaders of the past — then we need to ensure that we take steps to combat jealousy. The question is: how?
It is beyond the scope of this reflection to provide a complete solution, but here are a few things you need to do. First, reflect on the root of your jealousy. Dig deep. You may discover some deep-rooted insecurities, so when you see other people shine or do well, you feel you are good for nothing. Second, acknowledge your jealousy. One sign of jealousy is unreasonable anger or hatred when you think of somebody, usually in your field of work. You aren’t likely to be jealous of Tom Cruise unless you are an actor!
Third, take it to God. God will give you the understanding that you don’t need to feel less than anybody else or second to anyone because he has created you to be unique. You are special in his eyes, and that is all that really matters. If we start listening to him and doing what he tells us to do, we will discover that he has a plan for us, and it may not be as glamorous as the plans he has for others — not all of us can be like Tom Cruise! — they are important in the greater scheme of things. All he looks for is faithfulness! And we will be rewarded for all eternity.
May the Spirit be with you.