Lenten Devotion – Overcome Jealousy
Saturday, March 19
Luke 19:28-40, 45-48
Everywhere Jesus went, the people followed him. They heard him teach, shared meals with him, and saw him perform wonders beyond belief. He captured the imagination of the people, he was a “celebrity” in his own right and the crowds adored him.
Jesus came to Jerusalem at the height of his fame. He would be welcomed into the Holy City with shouts of praise, blankets at his feet and palm branches waving. It was a hero’s welcome, a parade for him. Everything seemed so right. “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” was the acclamation from the crowd that Jesus was “The One” the prophets had spoken of. This was the accomplishment of many years of work. God seems closer to his people than ever before, reconciled though Jesus’ ministry. It should have been the perfect ending.
However, with fame comes jealousy. Jesus made many enemies with the religious leaders of the time. He called them out on their practices and rituals that they have been performing for hundreds of years, challenging their authority, and even rejecting their ideas of the Law and of God. This is very alarming to the chief priests and scribes of the faith. The people will start looking to Jesus instead of them for guidance. All they have worked hard for seems to be crumbling before their eyes. The priests had to “take him down,” but he was so popular, going after him would ruin their reputation and the people would be against them.
Jesus then chased the money changers and traders away from the Temple, outraged that the holy place was being used for worldly interests. Jesus indignation of the Temple’s practice was the final straw
for the High Priests to conclude that Jesus was a dangerous man. The priests, afraid of Jesus’ influence over the masses and concerned for their own interests, began to make their plans against him.
There are times in our lives that we allowed our own interests to get the better of us when we may see the success of others. Help us to be reconciled with others and with God.
Prayer: Dear God, in a world, that’s easily shaped by hatred and jealousy, help us to be your reconciling work to help people to know you.
– Nicholas Bullock