This week, I learned a lot:
- the Chinese word for “intersection.” (You can’t imagine how inconvenient it was not to know the Chinese word for intersection)
- how to make my own blog header in Picmonkey (amazing how inventive we can become when dollars are on the line!)
- and thanks to my son, who messed around on Picmonkey after I was done, I learned a whole set of functions I wasn’t aware of
But the biggest thing I learned this week came from scripture. Last year, one of my goals was to become more consistent with daily Bible reading. I used the One Year Bible, New Living Translation. This year, my goal is to make that daily reading time into more of a listening time–to read with pen in hand, an open notebook, and an open heart. And this year, I switched to the ESV. Something about switching versions from time to time seems to let me see things in a new light.
And this week, while reading in Matthew, I saw something I’d never seen before:
Matthew 27:17 “So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?’ For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up.”
Somehow this scripture leaped out at me.
I’m not sure if it’s a female trait or whether it’s universal to the human race in general, but it’s so easy to play the comparison game. A hundred times a day I see someone who has more, does more, or is better at something than I am, and while I may not wish I actually were that person, I have these niggling little feelings of resentment or of inferiority.
Maybe I’m the only one.
But when I read this scripture, I suddenly saw envy–in whatever form it comes in–as a pretty ugly thing. We aren’t told much about the wisdom of Pilate. It seems like he may have been a somewhat cowardly man, unwilling to make a bold decision about letting Jesus go, when he was obviously an innocent man.
But here we’re told that he “knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up.” He saw their ugly covetous hearts for what they were. And it was that envy that led to Jesus being delivered up for crucifixion. I need to remind myself of this. The next time I’m tempted to compare–to look over at someone else’s greener pastures–I need to see that envy for what it is, and the kind of serious destruction it causes.
How about you? What did you learn this week?