Bible reading plan Bible reading plan

Man’s Jealousy - The Ticking Timebomb

18 June 2021

ACTS ch. 5 v.17-42

God favoured Abel’s offering rather than Cain’s and then, out of JEALOUSY, Cain murdered Abel.

In the passage the high priest and all his associates were filled with JEALOUSY because the apostles were delivering signs and wonders and attracting many converts. They sought to put the apostles to death. Proverbs ch.6 v.34 states “For JEALOUSY is the rage of man.”

Have you ever been JEALOUS of another person’s looks, abilities, success, possessions?

If you were able, how did you overcome this feeling?



Acts 5:17 states “Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of Sadducees were filled with JEALOUSY.”



Jealousy is a human condition of this fallen world. Psychologists have established that this is a trait found in humans upwards from the age of 5 months.



Jealousy can be defined as “resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage or against another’s success…or fear of rivalry”.



“Covetousness” or “Greed” are synonymous with jealousy: desiring something/somebody & wanting something which is/belongs to another.  The word “covet” is much used in the Bible; “thou shalt not covet” is one of the Ten Commandments.

 In Luke 12:15 Jesus says “beware of covetousness ... be on your guard against all kinds of greed.”

 In Luke 16:14 the Pharisees are referred to as “covetous”

In Acts 20:33 Paul says “I have coveted no man’s silver or gold or approval.”



If jealousy is unrestrained it leads to resentment which can lead to anger, hatred, persecution, or violent behaviour.

Most wars throughout history have had the starting point of jealousy, one leader wanting something that another country had.

In the case in Acts 5 it led to the death of Stephen. The Sadducees were jealous of the God-inspired achievements of the apostles. They feared that their own privileged position and influence with the Roman authorities would be lost if Christianity continued its rapid expansion. Later, the greatest sacrifice ever made, Jesus, would be crucified for the same reason by the religious authorities.



As Christians we should beware the “leaven” of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matthew 16:17)

Jealousy should have no part in our lives.  It can be the forerunner to many destructive acts.

We are commanded to LOVE and to be satisfied with what we have.  We have an all-knowing and all-loving God who provides for all our needs.

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John Mercer

Leadership Team Member & Trustee
GoChurch Bradford