Jealousy and gratitude

Posted by Jacob Dell on

Proper 21

Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29; James 5:13-20; Mark 9:38-50

We usually think of jealousy in terms of what we don't have, rather than what we have. But what if it turns out that jealousy is actually a form of ingratitude?

That's what seems to be going on in this Sunday's readings from Numbers and Mark. In Numbers, Joshua is jealous for Moses' sake, worried that God's Spirit resting on two elders of Israel somehow will detract from Moses' leadership.

Likewise, John is worried that someone other than one of the chosen 12 apostles is casting out demons in Jesus' name, potentially weakening the apostles' authority.

What both men fail to realize is that these miracles are a display of God's power, not their own. Any act of God is cause for gratitude, not ingratitude.

Click here to listen to, or read the transcript of, this sermon to discover why, no matter how God is at work in other peoples' lives, we can be grateful that He is at work in our own.