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Choosing Grace Over Greed: Fight Against Envy and Jealousy and Follow the Path of Jesus

Updated: Apr 9

In our small group this week, we talked about Matthew 27:15-26.

It's a story where Pilate, the governor, participates in the festival tradition of releasing a prisoner. Pilate gave the crowd the choice to release Jesus or another prisoner, Barabbas, a notorious criminal with a murderous past.

Three times, the crowd confirms they want Barabbas released, and Jesus crucified.

21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
Matthew 27: 21-23 NIV

As we discussed this verse, we talked about why Jesus was imprisoned in the first place, and why the crowd would not want him released, and where Pilate stands in all of this.

Jesus carried a ton of power and influence. He also broke with many of the traditions of the time. This made him an enemy in the eyes of many.

Pilate knows the innocence of Jesus, and his wife even implores him in a message to have nothing to do with harming Jesus. Still, he refuses to stand up for what is right. He takes the easy way out and yields to the crowd.

In reality, Barabbas was chosen to be released because many other leaders envied Jesus' power and influence.

We asked ourselves, "What is our Barabbas? What are we choosing over Jesus due to envy or jealousy in our lives?"

One line that stands out in this passage is Matthew 27:22

22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
The cross representing Jesus and his sacrifice

What shall we all do with Jesus? How shall we behave in accordance to knowledge of a savior who died for our sins? How shall we change our lives?

We are all guilty of choosing things in our lives over Jesus. We are selfish with our time, money, status, and work.

Let's strive today to make decisions based solely on Jesus' presence and sacrifice.


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