First Sunday of Lent
Text: Matthew 4: 1-11 Title: Pride
Introduction: my personal experience
I remember an incident that hurt my pride greatly. One day when I was on my way to the class at college, a man approached to me and asked to translate a few English sentences written on a bottle into Korean. Since I was carrying Time magazine and English dictionary with me, the guy thought I might know English very well. The bottle was for medication. So, I translated first sentence that was about dosage. But the guy asked me to translate the next sentence. When I looked at the next sentence, I was extremely embarrassed since I could not see any clue to translate: There were full of strange English words. The guy immediately shouted to the crowd, "This young guy knows nothing about English." It was a bad day. But above all I found anger and hate inside me toward the one who damaged my pride.
It is Satan's long strategy to accomplish its purpose by stimulating someone's pride.
Verses 3 and 6:"If you are the Son of God, …"
Using 'if' phrase, Satan tries to stimulate the pride of Jesus in order to accomplish his purpose.
Satan's intention might be that not following his direction would mean denying Jesus' sonship. Therefore, first temptation can be paraphrased in this way: "If you do not command that these stones become bread, you are not the Son of God." In the same way, second temptation can be paraphrased: "If you do not throw yourself down, you are not the Son of God." Third temptation is in the same direction: "All these things will I give you, if you fall down and worship me." It can be paraphrased like this: "Since you are not the Son of God because you did not command that those stones became bread and throw yourself down, now, fall down and worship me, I will give you all these things."
Application and conclusion
First, we should not stimulate or hurt pride of our brethren.
We should be aware of ours brother or sister's trauma and do our best to protect his or her weaknesses.
Second, we should be able to cope with our inner anger when our prides get hurt.
How did Jesus cope with the situation?
First, Jesus relied upon the word of God.
Second, Jesus remembered the failure of Israel in the wildness by quoting Moses' words from Deuteronomy.
Third, Jesus kept silence: Matthew 26:67-68; 27:27-31; Isaiah 53:7.
We are in the wildness as the people of God. To overcome the voice of Satan is to overcome our pride. Lent is to celebrate Jesus' wildness, his earthly life, his suffering, and then his victory. To overcome temptation and follow the way of Jesus up to his victory, we seriously reconsider the current status of our being. Being without pride is the being we should be.