Matthew 27:11-20 (also in Mark 15:1-11)
(18) For he [Pilate] knew that because of envy they [chief priests and elders] had handed him [Jesus] over.
The Chief Priest and the elders bring Jesus to the governor, Pilate. They are envious of Jesus' ministry, his wisdom, his words, his influence, and who knows what else. The definition of envy: a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc. Pilate figures the people, the masses, would not have this perspective problem. Pilate offers to release a prisoner to the people, Barabbas or Jesus. Pilate probably expected when offered Barabbas, who is the worst of the worst, the people would never allow him to walk free. But envy runs deep, and it might run deeper in those in leadership.
(20) But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death.
In verse 20 we see the danger of envious leadership. The Chief Priest and the elders used their influence and leadership to persuade the crowds to pick Barabbas for release and to crucify Jesus.
It is important to note that these leaders did have powerful influence, and they used it effectively. The problem is envy dictated its use. Envy can blind us to our God-given responsibilities. Envious leaders equals dangerous leaders.