Zealous, Not Jealous

  My spiritual father said to me one time about ministry work, and it has stuck with me ever since, that “it doesn’t matter who gets the job done as long as it gets done”. He used to say that if God wants to use the organist or even an usher instead of the preacher for a service, then let it be to the glory of God. In John 9, Jesus was the prophet, the Rabbi, the miracle worker… but it was the healed blind man that did the preaching that day to the Pharisees. Did Jesus get jealous that the man was teaching and not Him? After all, He was the man of the hour. He was the Healer. The Messiah. Yet, He gave the healed man the spotlight that was born blind, so he could show the Pharisees that they were the ones that were blind. The man was zealous and was ordained to do the preaching that day, even though he risked being excommunicated.

  In John 21, Peter was jealous because John was laying around doing nothing while he was the one getting his ministry assignment. So Peter asked Jesus, “what about this man?” and Jesus basically told him it was none of his business. Jesus told Peter to “follow me”, not to look around and see what everyone else was doing. He told him just seconds ago to be zealous (feed the sheep) for the Kingdom. John had his assignment, yet Peter so quickly lost his zeal.

  God has called each of us for a specific purpose, no matter how great or small, and none is without significance. Don’t get upset if God uses someone else, just be thankful the job is getting done and God will be thankful we have a right spirit about it. Sometimes we are to be in the spotlight, and sometimes we are to hold the spotlight at someone else. Let’s stop looking at others and comparing ourselves and just do what God has called us to do, and stop trying to do everybody else’s work. If God called us to be helps, then we need to stop trying to be the preacher. We are to encourage each other, and not tear down and hold each other back because we are jealous in some way. Let’s be zealous! Not jealous.

Elder Steve Smith

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