When you think of the word “jealous,” what comes to mind? I’m confident that it’s highly unlikely your thoughts would run to Jesus!
The dictionary defines the word jealous this way:
Intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness
Disposed to suspect rivalry or unfaithfulness
Hostile toward a rival
You think that doesn’t describe the Lamb of God? Upon closer inspection, this is exactly how our Lord views His relationship with us! However, there is a clear distinction between the jealousy of man and the jealousy of God: our jealousy is sinful, but God’s is sacred.
The Lord is a jealous and avenging God.
Jesus will tolerate NO RIVAL in the lives of His people . . . nor should He! When you think of the cost Jesus paid for you, it makes all the sense in the world that He would be very jealous for your love and fidelity. God did not choose you so that you would choose another. He left the throne of grace, came into this sin-filled world took on flesh, knowing that He would be denied, betrayed, spit upon, jeered at, and put to death . . . all so that He could have an intimate, personal, loving relationship with you.
What a wonderful attribute of our God! His jealousy is directed at us for all the right reasons. Jesus knows there is nothing or no one we should love more than Him. Only Jesus loves perfectly; only Jesus meets our needs perfectly. He knows there is nothing our hearts should beat for stronger and faster than for Him, because all other things are flawed and imperfect.
Oh, the joy in the heart of Jesus Christ when we are leaning totally upon Him! But when we transfer our dependence to anything lesser, He is jealous for our return. How often the human heart beats for things smaller than Jesus! We seek lesser loves in every aspect of life and we are continually disappointed, because they simply cannot deliver on their promises.
But Jesus delivers and surpasses every promise uttered in His faithful love to us. When God created Adam and Eve, they were never intended to meet their needs in any aspect of the creation. Every need was to be met vertically by their personal relationship with their Creator. Tragically, they turned away from God and brought all creation into ruin. But God, in His jealous love, pursued those stubborn rebels on the run and reentered into relationship with mankind through Jesus Christ.
God in Christ is jealous for your trust, your service, your fellowship, and your love. Jesus did not die to make you “good” . . . He died to make you alive—alive to Him and nothing smaller. Only in Him will you find the things that matter most in life: meaning, significance, purpose, and identity. Only in Him will you begin to plumb the depths of who you are in Christ and all He is calling you to be.
Praise God that Jesus is jealous for His people!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!