Today we will look at Acts 13:42-47
13:42 As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people were urging them to speak about these things on the next Sabbath. 43When the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who were speaking with them and were persuading them to continue in the grace of God.
44On the next Sabbath almost the whole city assembled together to hear the word of the Lord. 45But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, and they began to contradict what Paul was saying by reviling him. 46Both Paul and Barnabas replied courageously, “It was necessary to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have appointed you to be a light for the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
Jealousy poisons many things. It often leads us to attack persons instead of ideas. It damages and even destroys relationships that should be close ones. The leaders of the synagogue were jealous of the crowds that Peter and Barnabas were attracting. They could never attract so many. They were losing their position of prestige and power. These travelers who should have been their welcomed guests, are now their enemies.
Amazing what God can do with even our own sinful reactions to his grace. In this case, from a bad case of jealousy, God opens up the good news from being presented only to the Jews, to being presented to the rest of the world. Thanks be to God that he is not limited to our best actions but can use our mistakes as well.
Are you jealous? Why not simply rejoice in the graciousness of God for others? After all, he sent Jesus for you. What more could we want?