Acts 13-14 God called Paul and Barnabas to go to the lost people of the world. The church anointed them and sent them off. In their travels they met many who were interested but there was a group that audaciously threatened their work: jealous Jews. It seems that this attitude has been ongoing. It was for envy that the religious leaders sought for His crucifixion. Now the Jews in different parts of the Asian world in which these two men worked sought to eradicate their message of hope and eternal life. We too will face opposition and Jesus forewarned that this would be the case. Perhaps that is why He told the disciples to not be overly concerned but be faithful. The enemy of our world does not want to lose any of his converts and so as Paul later wrote: “the gold of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ who is the image of God.” [2 Cor 4:4]
No matter where missionaries have gone, they have faced the ways of the enemy to distract, discourage, dishearten and more. It all boils down to this one attitude: jealousy. Satan is jealous because he is not the chosen on, Christ is. Jealousy is the fear that a rival may rob us of the affection of another. [Webster] In short, jealousy is awakened by whatever may exalt others and we saw that in the temptation of Christ.
As we seek to bring the good news to the lost, may we remember that it is not us they are rejecting, but the gospel of Christ. Remain firm, remain faithful. Your reward may only be seen in eternity.