jellybeans and monkeys

Have you ever wondered what jellybeans have to do with Jesus? 

With Easter being this past weekend, I (unfortunately) had my fair share – and maybe your fair share, too – of jellybeans. Not just any jellybeans, but the Starburst ones. Those things are crazy good.

Well, someone had brought a very large bag of those things to work, so we all dug in.

There was just one problem with that colorful bag of deliciousness.

See, on the large bag, there’s a resealable opening. That’s great! Except that the opening is sort of small.

One can’t simply “grab a handful of jellybeans” and easily remove said hand from the bag without dropping a few.

This made me think of a story I’ve heard several times about trapping monkeys. 

Apparently in countries where monkeys are as commonplace as squirrels are here, they’re quite pest-like.

The locals will often trap them and then sell them or something. But, they want them alive.

So, they take a gourd or a jar with an opening just large enough for the monkey’s hand to fit through. Then they place some sort of yummy treat in the gourd – nuts, fruit, etc.

Eventually the monkey comes buy, smells the treat, and reaches right into the gourd for it.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. 

The monkey then tries to pull his hand out but can’t because the food he is holding made his hand too big to get back out.

The answer seems pretty simple, right?

It’s the same thing I had to do when I tried to pull out too many Starburst jellybeans at one time.

Let go of what you’re holding onto, monkey!

The problem is that the monkeys refuse to let go and move on. They keep holding on to what’s in the gourd until the trappers can come and collect them.

I think I can too often find myself doing the exact same thing. There’s something I’m holding onto so tightly because it’s mine. It’s what I know, and it’s comfortable. And, I just can’t let it go.

What about you?

Maybe it’s a habit you can’t seem to break. Perhaps there’s a harmful relationship that you need to either fix or let go.

Maybe you’re holding on for that job opportunity that might be right around the corner, and you’re neglecting to take care of what matters most while you wait for it.

You feel trapped in your current situation.

But, the reason you’re trapped is because you won’t let go of what you’re holding onto.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. Some situations require that you keep holding on. Those situations require you fight tooth and nail with all you’ve got to keep a grasp on whatever that thing is.

Only you know the difference.

You, wise counsel, and a lot of prayer have to decide if you’re allowing yourself to be trapped because you won’t let go. Or, if you need to exercise every ounce of grit to hold on.

Once you decide, though, you’ve got to make that choice. If you’re tired of feeling trapped, you’ve got to act.

So, what’s all this got to do with Jesus?

The short answer – everything.

Jesus came to earth – God as man – to live a blameless life and offer the greatest sacrifice that we might be forgiven of our sins and reconciled to our Heavenly Father.

As He hung on the cross and bled for you and me, He fought for His life to some degree. He struggled to breath and He held on a little bit.


“Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” – John 19:28-30

Jesus held on as long as He needed to. Then…

He let go.

And, how amazing for you and me that He did!

If Jesus hadn’t let go, we wouldn’t have the third day!

We wouldn’t have the resurrection. There would be no salvation through the Son of God. The Holy Spirit wouldn’t have come. And, we wouldn’t have the same power that rose Jesus from the grave living in us!

So, do you feel trapped? What are you holding on to? It is time to let it go?

Step one – spend some time with God and some wise counsel and decide. If the answer is yes – the next step is figuring out how.

Let’s Get FIT Together!