Acts 17 Jealousy Raises its Ugly Head
Jealousy means unpleasant suspicion or apprehension of rivalry. Keep that in mind as you wander into the city and synagogue of Thessalonica. Paul is on a mission to present the gospel message to as many as he can, recalling what the Lord told him: you are my chosen instrument, but you will suffer much for my name’s sake. [Acts 9:15, 16]
Paul’s message was to the Jew first, so we find him each time on the Sabbath in a synagogue. Then, using this as his prop, he explains from the OT that this Christ had to die and rise from the dead. The reaction is fierce! Many were persuaded, but the Jews became jealous. But, But why?
Let’s stop and consider what the Jews held true. They were the chosen ones by God. They had the Torah and the prophet’s words. They were entrusted with the oracles of God. [Rom 3:2] They alone were given the 10 Commandments. Yet, the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 changed all that. God’s plan is that Jew and Gentile are accepted by faith and faith alone. But old habits and beliefs die hard. When the Gentiles were persuaded to believe, the Jews became jealous, and that jealousy led to a riot.
God is calling all men to Himself. As we seek to minister to all, consider and be sensitive to another’s heritage. Remember, we are but the instrument to share and leave the results to God.