Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 2:13-23
God delivers us from Egypt!
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we say, “Deliver us from evil!” What is evil, though? In the Bible, we have stories after stories that show what evil is. In many cases, the evil has something to do with Egypt. So, if we know what happened in Egypt, we can have some ideas what evil is.
In today’s Bible passage, Joseph had to flee to Egypt and stayed there because the King Herod tried to kill Jesus. Herod did not want another king in his land. He was angry and jealous. Anger and jealousy drove people out into Egypt. In the Old Testament, we have another story of Joseph (different one). He was sold as a slave and brought into Egypt because the brothers tried to kill him out of anger and jealousy. Can we see common background for the two different stories?
People are led into Egypt and stayed there because of anger and jealousy among us!
When we compare ourselves with others we have anger and jealousy. Then, we are pushing people into Egypt and force them to stay there. It happens among siblings and it happens among strangers. Comparison begets complaints and complaints beget anger and anger begets violence. It is our human tragedy. God knew us and commanded us not to take a fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When we have the knowledge of good and evil, we compare and we complain. Have you heard someone saying, “Someone’s husband brought a gift on her birthday” or “Someone has a nice vacation because his wife was promoted.” When God delivers us from evil, we are happy and satisfied with what we have now and who we are now. If you feel unlucky today, someday you will miss what you have now, saying, “That was the golden days even though I did not know back then.” Children will say that when they grow older, and we wait for the time to come! King Herod was not happy. He was angry and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under. He was an evil.
However, evil does not last forever. The Bible says that the king Herod died. Evil loses it power in the end. In the Old Testament story, the brothers of Joseph had to come into Egypt to get some food. They came in front of Joseph and bowed down before him. So, now it is the time for Joseph to revenge, right? No! He did not pay back to them. Instead, he forgave them and let them live until they could go out of Egypt by God’s help and grace. When evil dies, there is an Exodus, coming out of Egypt movement. When we come out of Egypt we are not angry or jealous any more. We worship God and share our lives with others. Then we can feel true happiness and peace!
See, the young Jesus came out of Egypt led by an angel. He stayed in a small town called Nazareth and grew there. He did not practice martial arts or military strategies. He learned the Word of God and practice loving others. He was happy there and served his family until he was called by God to be a sacrifice for all. This happens when we come out of Egypt. I pray that we all should experience Exodus!
- What do you compare with others? What are the things that bother you most?
- What are the things that you can do well and focus on, instead of comparing with others?