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Envy is a desire for another’s gifts, possessions, position or achievements. Envy is closely associated with jealousy.

How dangerous is Envy?


Genesis 4:3–8 NASB95PARA
3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; 5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” 8 Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
This Envy led to murder
Envious of something good - God’s Favor, Led to something terrible
How powerful is it? Extremely.

Religious Leaders - Paul

Acts 13:42–45 NASB95PARA
42 As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people kept begging that these things might be spoken to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and of the God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the grace of God. 44 The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming.
ac 13 42-
They became Jealous of god working in others, not in them
“If I can’t have it, no one can!”
Opposite of what Francis of Assisi says
“Blessed is that servant who is not more puffed up because of the good the Lord says and works through him than because of that which He says and works through others.”
In other words, “Don’t get all puffed up because God has done more through you, than your neighbor”
These men are the opposite, they get angry because God is working though others
How dangerous is Envy? Dangerous enough to imperil your soul
it led these seemingly righteous men to blaspheme

Religious Leaders - Jesus

Chief Priests, Sadducees, Pharisees - greatly different
Conservative to Ultra-Conservative
Want to conserve not just the Law, but the traditions surrounding the Law
See Jesus as too Liberal (didn’t follow traditions)
Chief Priests
The Powerful
Want to retain their power
See Jesus as disrespectful of their position
Drove the money-changers out of the Temple … THEIR Temple
Notice how they challenge His teaching in the Temple ...
Matthew 21:23 NASB95
23 When He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?”
Ultra-Liberal (members of Sanhedrin)
Accept only the Books of Moses
Accepted Roman rule (influence)
Saw Jesus as too Conservative
Concerning the Resurrection (Whose wife will she be?)
Concerning the Resurrection (Whose wife will she be?)
A ridiculous scenario, they think will prove their opinion about there being no resurrection
A Woman marries seven brother consecutively, after each dies - according to the Law
They ask
Matthew 22:28 NASB95
28 “In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.”
mt 22
Jesus rebukes them
just as Liberal theology would be rebuked today
Matthew 22:29 NASB95
29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.
Matthew 22:28–29 NASB95PARA
28 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.” 29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.
These Groups don’t agree about much … but they had a meeting where they did agree
John 11:47–51 NASB95PARA
47 Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 48 If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” 51 Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,
The one thing they could agree on was that Jesus Should be put to death
The Question … Why could they agree on this?
At His trial, Pilate asked the people who they wanted released, Barabbas or Jesus
Why did he give them this option? Why give them an out?
Matthew 27:18 NASB95PARA
18 For he knew that because of envy they had handed Him over.
How destructive is Envy? It put the Lord of Glory on the Cross

Envy - Causes

Human Sin (desires/action of the flesh)

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are … envy ...
Two-way street … goes the other way as well
— I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

Good fortune of others

- Workers in the field
20:11-16 - READ
There is a fable that Satan’s agents were failing in their various attempts to draw into sin a holy man who lived as a hermit in the desert of northern Africa. Every attempt had met with failure; so Satan, angered with the incompetence of his subordinates, became personally involved in the case. He said, “The reason you have failed is that your methods are too crude for one such as this. Watch this.”
He then approached the holy man with great care and whispered softly in his ear, “Your brother has just been made Bishop of Alexandria.” Instantly the holy man’s face showed that Satan had been successful: a great scowl formed over his mouth and his eyes tightened up.
“Envy,” said Satan, “is often our best weapon against those who seek holiness.”

God has occasionally used envy/jealousy for His purpose

Jews had fallen into traditionalism - not a matter of their heart - but of ritual
Then they are given the message of God’s Grace through Jesus Christ
while some respond, not many
Then the Gentiles receive the same message - they rejoice and receive it with gladness
Romans 11:13–14 NASB95PARA
13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.
“Perhaps my fellow Jews will see the greatness of Grace over ritual, this will cause them to be jealous of the relationship - and they may come to salvation


Envy, Jealousy, Contentiousness — all are dangerous, fleshly, destructive
Is it possible to be happy for others’ blessings without envy creeping in?
Yes, it sure is — but it may be harder for us than we would be willing to admit.
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