God is . . . not jealous

1 Corinthians 13: 4

Love is patient, love is kind, and [love] is not jealous.

We have heard that God is a jealous God (Exodus 20: 5), so how does this make sense? Well, it is true. As the song says, “God don’t play second fiddle.” He will have no other gods before Him. However, His love is not jealous and in a general sense He is not. He just will not abide idolatry and that is very different. I think you can easily distinguish these expressions of God’s preeminence as your God from jealous love.

He is more than happy for you to have many loves. In fact, He has told us that we ought to love one another even as He has loved us (John 13: 34). He desires that we be unified in love even as He and Jesus are one (John 17: 21). You see, love is not jealous.

Love, and therefore God, always wants the best for us. It isn’t selfish or controlling. It doesn’t take things or people away from us because it wants all of our attention. If someone in your life demonstrates these traits, then their love for you is not mature. This should be an immediate danger sign for you. Jealousy is not of God and is not godly. Further, there is no place in love for jealousy. What that person feels for you may be need or desire but it is not love.

God wants your time but He does not want to dominate your time or attention. His plan would be for you to take Him along on your run or your dinner out with friends. He does not have to be the center of attention and He does not want you to neglect the other parts of your life. His is a healthy love and as such is the model we should use in our interpersonal relationships. If people need to control us, they don’t love us. God wants you happy and healthy. His is a true love. He is not jealous.


John 10: 30 – 33

“I and the Father are one.” The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good words from the Father’ for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”

“The Jews took up stones AGAIN to stone Him.” This was not the first time they had attempted to stone Jesus. His reaction is classic. Rather than running, pulling a sword or calling down fire from heaven, Jesus stood there and argued with them. He questioned them about their reactions. What a testimony that is all by itself. Still, this word “again” begs for attention. Why were they never successful at stoning him? You understand, of course, that stoning is a death sentence. They were not trying to bruise him. Their intention was to kill him. Whatsmore, this was not the first time they had attempted to kill him by stoning him. So, clearly, they failed to kill him in at least one previous attempt. Why were they unable to kill Jesus?

It seems the answer is in verse 30. Jesus had a revelation of “I and the Father are one.” There must be power in that revelation. He knew it was not time to lay down his life so he did not give it up to them. It was this very statement, though, that so incensed the Jews. How dare he compare himself with God or even insinuate relationship with the Father?

Jesus’ life was threatened because of his confession about his position with God. We fairly well take this for granted now. For Jesus to declare that he and the Father are one is completely acceptable to us. Let us go the next step though. Are we ready to admit, accept and even confess that we and the Father are one? Would you say that about yourself. I hope so. It is true. The redemptive plan of God in all its brilliance can be boiled down to this simple statement. We have been joined with the Father. Jesus has restored us to union with God. As Jesus was in the earth, so are we. When you peel back the cover, that really is pretty amazing. Also amazing is that you will not be stoned for making this declaration.

So, I want you to start talking to the Father as if you and He are one. I want you to wake up in the morning as a walking, talking co-tenant with God. Wherever you go, He goes. Whatever He thinks, you think too. You hear His thoughts and share His ambitions.

(See also John 17: 21)