But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here
-Although many Jews at Thessalonica received and heartily embraced the gospel of truth, there were others who rejected it with malignity of heart. Apostle Paul preached the gospel; demonstrating that Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ (Acts 17:3). For the great success which Paul had in converting Gentiles, raised the envy and indignation among the unbelieving Jews caused an uproar in the market place. They collected a mob and assaulted the house of Jason where Paul and Silas lodged; but they found them not. The infuriated crowd drew out Jason and other believers instead, terming them as public enemies. This is the same persecution we find in many countries including Sri Lanka, North Korea, Pakistan, India etc in their quest to find Christ in truth. The consequences of these attrocities are dire, where we see churches and Christian buildings attacked and burned, Christians are arrested, detained without trial, sentenced and imprisoned, and some are killed while seeking their faith.
Jealousy can be viewed in two dimensions; through a positive perspective in the nature of God and a negative notion; present in the hearts of men. It is in Gods’ will that we follow Him wholeheartedly and only worship Him. Only God is worthy of our praise and worship, and calls us to love Him with all our hearts; souls and minds, and our neighbours as ourselves. Jealousy among men is catastrophic and sometimes leads to death. We find that; when Abel’s sacrifice was accepted by God and Cain’s was not, he became jealous over his brother. Though God cautioned Cain saying “sin lies at your door, its desire is for you but you should rule over it”. Sin eventually ruled over him and he killed his brother Abel (Gen 4:7). Such is a common scenario in our societies today when men kill others due to business competition, infidelity in marriage and relationships, to obtain an inheritance, political influences, faith related reasons etc. God is righteous and calls us to righteousness through His grace. He reminds us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all other things He will bestow unto us. We as the church are the bride of Christ and are joint to Him in a godly marriage through His death and resurrection. Like in every marriage; love is key and if it is ceases to exist; jealousy sets in. Jealousy through out scripture references follow this pattern; but God calls us to be conformed to His will through love and He will give us rest.
For the many times we have harboured jealousy is our hearts, Lord have mercy. For the countless times we have caused injury to our neighbours due to selfish ambitions; Christ have mercy. For the many times we have moved away from Your holy will; forgive us Jesus and renew Your steadfast spirit within us. With sincere gratitude in our hearts; we thank You for this far You have brought us. All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine. Have mercy on the persecuted Christians all over the world and protect them from all evil. Give us the courage to preach the gospel of truth edifying one another as You have called us Jesus. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; and the love of God; and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit; be with us now and forever more. Amen
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