Good Jealousy

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Romans 11:11-16

I glorify my ministry in order to make my own people jealous, and thus save some of them. (vv. 13-14)

Tom couldn’t figure out why his girlfriend was so upset. “I don’t try to control her,” he insisted. “She has complete freedom to be herself. I don’t say anything even if she flirts with other guys.”

“Maybe that’s part of the problem,” I suggested. “She doesn’t think you care enough to fight for your relationship. Do you think God has a nonchalant attitude if he sees us flirting with the devil?” A light suddenly went on for Tom.

You see, there is such a thing as “good jealousy”—a jealousy that motivates us to take appropriate action. Paul is talking about a good jealousy here. When the Jewish people see how God’s promises of forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life have been diverted from them to the Gentiles, they will feel a jealousy that will drive them to get those blessings back.

Paul insists, therefore, that God’s plan to reach the Jews for Jesus is to work through the Gentiles. God has not given up on the descendants of Abraham; he is reaching out to them in a different manner. God’s ultimate goal is to save large numbers of both Jews and Gentiles.


Lord Jesus, help me to be a living witness for you to everyone, Jew as well as Gentile. Amen.