“Now when the other ten heard this, they became angry with James and John.” (Mark 10:41 NET)
Lets face it, their anger was a result of jealousy. This is one of the most unfaltering emotions in our human nature. It reveals our insecurity, pride, self-doubt, anxiety, and egotistical attitudes that lie in the shallow depths of our humanity. I know that scripture declares that our God is a jealous God (Exod 20:5; 34:14; Deut 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; Josh 24:19), but are we supposed to be angry, jealous disciples? People frequently become angry and envious of others who seem to get some kind of preferential treatment from God. We know deep down that our father loves us all the same, but we are quick to develop a resentful attitude when we see others being blessed while we seem to be passed over. This bitterness can far too quickly develop into jealousy and anger. It destroys our relationships with other people. It affects our prayer time, and desire to read the word of God. It can cause us to drop out of Bible study or even church because we just can’t stand to see that person that sparks our emotions again. When we are tempted to become jealous and angry we should remember the lesson Christ taught his disciples here in the text; there is a difference between earthly and eternal greatness. Our jealousy always stems from our desire to pursue earthly greatness. So next time those emotions develop in your life, examine your motivations. Are they eternal or earthly?