[This is a reprint and was published online September 6, 2005.]
Only in the Gospels of Matthew (27:18) and Mark (15:10) are we told that envy was the motive of the religious leaders, who handed Jesus over to the Roman authorities to be murdered. The word “envy” does not appear elsewhere in the four gospels.
In Volume One of “The Death of the Messiah,” Raymond E. Brown, on page 802, writes in depth on the Greek word “Phthono” translated into English as “envy,” which also means: “jealousy,” “spite,” “malice” and “sheer malice.”
He writes: “Phthono covers the spectrum of violent dislike for good, even to the point of homicide.”
In Greek, this word covers the full range of violent dislike for another, for it also carries the idea of “zeal.” This word—in its fullest meaning— in English, describes a malevolent person whose envious hatred is also zealous! Continued slander leads to outright murder.
A malevolent person is one: “having or showing a desire to harm others; having a harmful or evil effect or influence.”
Jesus departs through the door of the fullest envy. Later, he returns to thoroughly triumph over it.
We can be conquerors— with him—too. But if we continue in jealousy or envy, we’re yet in the mindset of his murderers. To refuse to even start to fight to overcome this mindset is to be in Satan’s will and soon his doom.
It’s interesting that the Gospel writers write that it was Roman governor Pontius Pilate who “knew” the motives of such malevolent persons. It’s reasonable that he had agents who kept him up on such facts.
Why did they envy Jesus? “The Living Bible” tells us that Pilate “knew very well that the Jewish leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy because of his popularity with the people.” However, it goes even deeper.
The gospels state that these Jewish leaders persuaded an angry crowd to ask Pilate to release Barabbas “and destroy Jesus.” Interesting choice. (The King James Version)
Jews outright reject this account of their involvement in Jesus’ murder.
In a study guide entitled “The Murder of Jesus” by Pastor John F. MacArthur Jr., he points out, and I paraphrase him here, that many who have studied the subject say that crucifixion was meant to produce the maximum pain, while prolonging suffering as long as possible. The type of crucifixion or execution Jesus underwent, according to the gospels, was also intended to heap the maximum degree of shame and disgrace possible. The crucifixion came after public mockery, taunting and ridicule.
But Jesus willingly bore it all, as he knew this was the key part of God’s plan for the redemption of the maximum number of people, even into the distant future. Hebrews 12:2 teaches that it was written that, “for the sake of the joy which was still in the future, he endured the cross.” He loved his God unconditionally!
Now I quote Dr. MacArthur Jr.: “Scripture records a number of supernatural phenomena that occurred while Jesus hung on the cross. These events constituted God’s own supernatural commentary on the cross. They are further proof of the extraordinary importance of what was occurring that day just outside of Jerusalem’s walls.
“The routes to the city that day were jammed with pilgrims coming and going, as they prepared to celebrate Passover. Few, if any, of them realized what a monumental event was occurring at Calvary. God’s true Paschal Lamb was dying on the very Passover to provide forgiveness for all of the sins of the redeemed of all time. That was the very focal point of redemptive history—yet as far as Jerusalem was concerned on that day, relatively few were taking notice.
“But suddenly, all nature seemed to stop and pay attention.”
But why are scholarly Jews who await the Messiah so firmly convinced that this did not occur 2,000 years ago? On the other hand, why don’t they admit the truth of the Black man’s place in prophecy?
I saw a CNN-TV (August 15) report that a film adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code” began shooting in England.
The movie will probably become more controversial than the book. Mr. Brown’s book, according to researchers, is largely based on a book by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln entitled “Holy Grail: Holy Blood.” The basic idea of these authors is that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, fathered a baby, and thus started a bloodline that exists today, among White people.
But, I’ve seen one of the authors openly admit, on TV, that their book (“Holy Grail: Holy Blood”) was a big guess. Yet, there is a secret in what they wrote.
This all upsets the Catholic Church.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught that long ago the White race got themselves so “entangled” with their fraudulent versions of the scriptures that they lost the real knowledge of its truths.
Nevertheless, with their deceitful use of the Bible and by force of arms, they went about viciously conquering the indigenous people of the earth. Many Caucasian scholars describe their own people’s history as fulfilling uncomplimentary prophecies of the scriptures.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad explained the root of their entanglements and how it yet serves God’s eternal purposes. He explained that they became mixed up in their understanding of the Jesus of 2,000 years ago with the prophecies of the coming of the Mahdi—the Jesus Who was to come at the end of their world.
In the late 1950s, he observed that a growing number of seminary students had come to see that the scriptures’ teachings of Jesus 2,000 years ago must be of a Jesus to appear in these days. That number has grown.
Tangled is “to become or make something become twisted together into a jumbled mass; to catch and entwine somebody or something in something that is difficult to get out of, for example, a net or trap; to trap somebody in a complicated, awkward, or dangerous situation; to become involved in a confrontation or disagreement with somebody, especially somebody powerful or important; a complicated situation or problem; a state of mental or emotional confusion or upset.”
They’re now engulfed in the mother of all entanglements.
Allah’s (God’s) prophets were all signs. They all reflect the life and work of the Mahdi, Messiah, his chief helper and their people—on varying levels.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad made clear that the Holy Qur’an teaches (23:50) that Jesus and his mother were signs. This is the key to understanding his life, mission and death. The scriptures don’t tell us of whom Jesus and his mother were signs.
So now, here comes the test. Why did Allah hold (His) answer back? How can we know His answer from the answers others give?
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad answered: “That is done for protection, and to serve as a test between the knowledge of believers and disbelievers in the last days of this world.”
This test began in September 1931, when Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad first met.
Everything planned against Minister Farrakhan will prove to be all-good for him, for those with him and, ultimately, for our people here and the world over.
More on Jesus, next issue, Allah willing.