Envy and Scapegoating

In his commentary on the above verse from Luke, Luke Timothy Johnson writes: “In Greek moral philosophy, misos (“hatred”) is often associated with envy, phthonos, and like it tends toward the harming of another.” To hear repeatedly in the gospels of the hatred of many of the religious leaders of Jesus gives rise to the question of “Why?” Conventionally we answer this question by pointing out that Jesus poses a threat to their status as leaders by revealing what is impure and self-serving in their motivation. However, there is perhaps an even more fundamental reason for their hatred of him,[read more]

Envious Comparison

A couple of days before my father died, I was helping him eat his lunch. I cut the meat that was on his tray, and, in a contorted attempt to communicate my respect and appreciation for him, I said to him that I could not do this the way he could. His response was one that truly put me in my place: “I’m no better than anyone else.”[read more]