Complete humility was the nature of this young Rabbi from Nazareth. His name was Jesus – Jesus who claimed to be Christ, the Messiah which the Jews had been expecting. Yes, the long awaited Saviour. The same came unto His people but was rejected by them. Not only did they reject Him, they slaughtered Him like a year old lamb. Approaching His death was not to Him a fear at all, for He knew He was born to die for mankind. The prophets of the Scripture had prophesied and spoken of His fate long before the conception of His earthly parents. He definitely knew why He was born – to deliver His own people from the tyrant who torments them, Sin. But His own people rose up against Him. They killed Him because of their pride and envy.
The beat Him, spat on Him, mocked Him disdainfully yet He opened not His mouth. A man who knew His fate aligned Himself willingly unto the peril thereby, even from His own countrymen.
He was arrested and sent to the tribunal, headed by the governor Pontius Pilate. His accusers sent Him to the tribunal not to be judged but to be executed. The tribunal did their work well – they interrogated the accused, and listened to charges against Him. Very much they did but still found the accused innocent. The witnesses present had no witness at all. O such a goodly governor Pilate was. He knew his duties, to protect his subjects especially the innocent, for he sought to protect this innocent Rabbi. He did his best but to no avail. The influence of the High priests Caiaphas and Annas prevailed over him. They threatened his governance saying he was not loyal to Caesar; that he refuses to penalize a treasonous act. His heart smote him and thus agreed to do their bidding. Yet he was still in doubt of his decision to kill an innocent man. Pilate observed something fascinating about the accusers of this young Rabbi.
He observed and gathered that the accusers were invigorated by envy. The Jewish leaders were envious of Jesus Christ. The governor therefore requested from the leaders to choose between Jesus and Barabbas, a notorious criminal and murderer. “When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” FOR HE KNEW THAT BECAUSE OF ENVY THEY HAD DELIVERED HIM UP.” (Matt. 27:17, 18) All these things occurred during Passover ceremony. It was the Jewish custom to release a prisoner on this ceremony. Pilate gave them to choose between the young Rabbi and the notorious criminal, supposing they would relent and free the guiltless Nazarene. But no, they leaders wanted criminal Barabbas instead. The leaders were envious of this Nazarene Rabbi and were ready to go every mile to eliminate Him and obliterate His name from history.
Here are 10 very possible reasons why envy grew in the hearts of Jesus’ killers
- The young Rabbi did not teach like the scribes, He taught with authority (Matt. 7:28, 29)
- Jesus healed and performed many miracles and even raised the dead (Acts 2:22)
- The people wanted Jesus to be their king (Jn. 6:15)
- He cast out devils and delivered many people with unclean spirits even in the synagogues (Acts 10:38)
- Jesus was loved and honoured by the rich and the poor, the learned and unlearned altogether
- Multitudes followed Jesus into the mountains and sometimes sat for days listening to Him (Jn. 6:1-14)
- Some called Him Teacher, others called Him Master and some others called Him Lord
- That a son of an ordinary carpenter could be so famous and acknowledged by everyone
- The young Rabbi’s followers were also miracle workers (Lk. 9-10)
- Jesus was fearless to assert to sacred claims of the Holy Scriptures
BONUS: Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the young Rabbi was killed because people envied Him, yet on His dying Cross He asked God to forgive His killers. This is a lesson we must learn, to humbly love even those who seek our destruction.
Any reproductions from this site must include a proper acknowledgement as follows:
By S. E. Entsua-Mensah. ©2014 Christ for Humanity Outreach
You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For internet posting, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. Any exceptions to the above should be approved by Christ for Humanity Outreach.