Jealousy…a blessing and a curse.
SEPTEMBER 8, 2021
Jealousy…a blessing and a curse. Let’s talk on Key Life.
If you’re sick of guilt and manipulation. And if you’re looking for an honest and thoughtful presentation of Biblical truth, you’ve come to the right place. This is Key Life with the founder of Key Life Network, Steve Brown, keep listening for teaching that will make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you’ve been with us for a while, you know we’re studying the book of Acts. And we’re looking at, actually I read to you verses 17, starting in the fifth chapter of Acts yesterday through the 32nd verse, but we’re going to make kind of this section include the rest of the chapter from the 33rd verse down through the end. And I probably ought to read the rest of it to you, because it’s an important part of this text. Now, you remember that the apostles are in prison. The angel gets them out. Tells them to go down to the temple and do what got him put in prison in the first place, kind of redundant. And then it happens. They’re brought before the court. And then, Peter makes his witness very clear. And talks about forgiveness and redemption. And then in the 33rd verse, when they heard this. And by the way, Peter said, we’re going to listen to God and not to you. And then in the 33rd verse, Luke writes.
When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a while. And he said to them,
And this is wise.
“Men of Israel, take care what you do with these men. For before these days Theudas rose, giving himself out to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. But he was slain, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After him Judas the Galilean rose in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in this present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found to oppose God!”
So they took his advice, and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and at home, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Oh my, what a story! I mean that’s, and I, when I read a story like this, a lot of things go through my head and one of them is, Lord, do it again, do it again. And, I believe that he’s going to, and over and over again, until Jesus returns. Now, when we look at the whole story, every bit of it,there are questions that come to mind. And, we’re gonna spend some time looking at those particular questions. And the first question that comes to mind when you look at this, is this, why in the world we’re the leaders, the religious leaders, so passionate about stopping these disciples, and they were nobodies, they were common, unlearned people. Why did they want to stop them right there in their tracks? Well, the first question is answered in the text, because they were jealous. Look at what Luke says. He says this.
But the high priest rose up,
And this is the 17th verse.
and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy.
Oh, my, filled with jealousy, you know, jealousy is a good thing, if it’s created by God’s people in the face of the people who are not God’s people, that’s sort of what Paul was talking about Christians doing for Jews in the book of Romans. That we are called to make them jealous, and frankly throughout most of our history, that’s not what we’ve done as goyim, as Gentiles, we haven’t made them jealous, we’ve made them afraid. We’ve made them want to run. And if I were Jewish and living under one of the pogroms, I would have run too. But throughout Scripture, there is this thing about jealousy, which is a sin, of course, envy. But there’s a sense in which it’s a gift and far more people than you could ever imagine have come to Christ out of jealousy and out of envy. When Joe pagan says to himself, man, I wish, I wish I could be like that. I wish I was forgiven. I wish I was going to live forever. I wish I had meaning in my life. I wish I could be like them. That’s envy, that’s jealousy. And that’s what we are called as the people of God to cause to happen in the people who are not the people of God, we ought to be so joyous, so alive, so free, so forgiven, so normal, so authentic. So, so real that the world is jealous and when they get jealous enough, they’ll come looking for Jesus. That’s evangelism. You think about that. Amen.
Jealousy as a gift? Sounds weird, but actually, yeah. Thank you Steve. More of God’s counter-intuitive wisdom to discover tomorrow, as we continue touring through Acts 5, hope you’ll join us then. So you’ve probably heard about Steve’s latest book, Talk the Walk. We may have mentioned it on this program a few dozen times. What you might not know is that book was born from a series of messages Steve gave at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina. Take a listen to part of that talk, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Steve.
When Pilot asked, what is truth? That was a good question. And not only was it a good question, it was the primary question that had been asked for centuries. What is truth? But as we moved into this cultural shift, something happened and it was this, the question is no longer what is truth, but is there any such critter as truth. The world has come to see that the agenda drives the truth. In other words, truth becomes what you want it to be. You’ve heard that old story. Everybody tells it, about the man who was hiring somebody for his office and he asked a simple question to see how the applicants would respond. The question was what is two plus two. One person said, I’m not sure, but I’m glad we can discuss it. Mathematician got out his slide rule and he said, two plus two is somewhere between 3.99 and 4.01. And the lawyer said, I can give you a case law to show you that two plus two equals four, but the accountant got up, walked over to the window, lowered the blinds, looked around, sat across the desk from his perspective boss, leaned over and whispered to him, what do you want it to be? What do you want it to be? Look at our politics. We’re living in the most divided, hateful time I’ve ever seen. I’m scared about what’s happening in the country. And I’ve really tried to listen to the other side. And I’ve found out there are two narratives. And once you have chosen the narrative, the truth that follows, is whatever you want it to be. So we don’t speak to each other, and we’re divided 50/50, and we’re in serious trouble in this country with identity politics, because the truth is whatever you want it to be. For Christians, and we don’t get a choice on this, truth drives the agenda. When we go to the Scriptures, hopefully we don’t go there with a preconceived doctrinal position that somebody has taught us and told us was revealed, like God’s word. We go there with an open Bible saying, God I want to know the truth. I want you to teach me. I want you to take away every pre-conception, everything I thought was true and isn’t. Every belief that doesn’t come from you and burn those suckers. I want to have convictions that come from you and from you only. Why don’t we do that? Even if you don’t do that, you agreed with what I just said, if you’re a Christian, because God’s Spirit says to you listen up, this is true stuff. And so even if you don’t go to Scripture, except under your preconceived theological position, you know you ought to go and say, God, I want convictions. And I want convictions from you only. Truth is truth, not because it works. Okay? It works because it’s true in the world. And you need to remember this and watch for it. The agenda drives the truth, among the people of God, the truth drives the agenda.
Such good stuff. Listen, we put this whole sermon on a CD and we would be happy to send it to you for free. So call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, right now. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, just send it to
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