Mark 15:10

For he was aware that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had given Jesus up to him.

the higher up
a success ladder
the greater
a green-eyed monster

more and more
leads to more
and then more
there’s no end

at first comfort
then some ahead
but never enough
at last power

those jealous see
so much greed
in everyone else
envy radar on

All-in-all, it is probably best to translate φθόνος (phthonos) as “envy” rather than “jealous”.

Those who have an interest in what may be an essential dynamic in Jesus ending up on a cross can access an essay, “The Anatomy of Envy and the Gospel of Mark” []. Here is a condensation of a key paragraph.

Mark 15:10 can be viewed accurately when seen against the backdrop of the events narrated in chapters 11–15. Mark correctly uses the term envy and not jealousy; for, the chief priests are distressed at Jesus’ success and seek to destroy his prestige. Jesus invaded the physical space of the elite priests by entering the Temple and challenged their priestly role in his critique of the way the Temple was run. Jesus was increasing at their expense, or so they perceived it. The chief priests’ envy of Jesus’ honor was occasioned by his miracles and his bold public actions in redefining temple life and by giving excellent responses to challenges put to him. Mark suggests that Jesus is the peer of the chief priests and deserving of both honor and envy. He gains in stature by being envied. Pilate’s perception that it was “out of envy” that Jesus was handed over is a striking clue which leads us to identify and connect seemingly disparate elements in the narrative into a coherent and plausible cultural scenario. The narrative strategy in portraying Jesus as envied seems to serve the primary rhetorical aim of the gospel—the praise of Jesus and the acknowledgment of him as Christ, Prophet, and Lord—the Most Honorable person in the cosmos next to God.

Envy can be seen as a huge stumbling block in any situation where partnership (not equality) would be a more logical and effective way to proceed. Here think of Cain and Abel. We can also put Sarah and Hagar here, along with Moses and Aaron at the time of Ten Tablets meeting a Golden Calf. The seeking for honor by James and John is a setup for continuing ancient differences by way of the envy of the chief priests. This raises questions about who it is a Reader envies.

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