John the Baptist Pt-6, Green-eyed jealousy, and its cure: humility

John 3:22-36

Jealousy is a powerful emotion! Husbands and wives can be rightly jealous of their spouse’s affections. The Bible tells us that God, in his goodness, is jealous and will not overlook worship of another deity. But jealousy can also be unbalanced, destructive and prideful. Jealousy can cause us to say terrible things, destroy relationships, ruin opportunity, make and keep us smaller than our potential. Jealousy can even lead to murder! No wonder it’s been called, “the Green-eyed Monster”! It devours the one that succumbs to its pull and mauls any innocent victims nearby.

Our Scripture today is unique in more ways than one. It is the only place where we have Jesus and John baptizing Israelites in preparation for the soon arrival of the kingdom, if Israel would receive her Davidic king as such. It also tells us that John didn’t only baptize in the Jordan river, but in other areas, in this case in Aenon near Salim, where there were springs of fresh water. It further tells us that John and Jesus’ baptism, had some similarities to Jewish ceremonial mikvah washing and immersions, but also so great differences including the unique authority to prepare one by identification with the Davidic king and kingdom. And it tells us that jealousy among believers, jealousy of the circumstance and even including jealousy of the ministry of another, is just as petty, nasty and in need of exposure and repentance as is teenage boyfriend jealousy. Jealousy is not like good cheese or wine. It does not age well.

But we will also see that John has, in his spiritual maturity, found a wonderful cure, an inoculation against the disease. Just as the cross of Christ repels the mythical vampire, and an oaken stake in the heart vanquishes them, so does real humility in the face of God and gratitude for all that He gifts us with, including our ministry, repels and vanquishes the Green-eyed monster of jealousy.

If you want to be free of jealousy’s clawing grip, follow John in today’s text.