出口的污穢人

馬太福音15: 10_20出口的污穢人

10 耶穌就叫了眾人來,對他們說:「你們要聽,也要明白。 11 入口的不能污穢人,出口的乃能污穢人。」 12 當時,門徒進前來對他說:「法利賽人聽見這話不服,你知道嗎?」 13 耶穌回答說:「凡栽種的物,若不是我天父栽種的,必要拔出來。14 任憑他們吧!他們是瞎眼領路的。若是瞎子領瞎子,兩個人都要掉在坑裡。」15 彼得對耶穌說:「請將這比喻講給我們聽。」 16 耶穌說:「你們到如今還不明白嗎? 17 豈不知凡入口的,是運到肚子裡,又落在茅廁裡嗎? 18 唯獨出口的,是從心裡發出來的,這才污穢人。 19 因為從心裡發出來的,有惡念、凶殺、姦淫、苟合、偷盜、妄證、謗讟。 20 這都是污穢人的,至於不洗手吃飯,那卻不污穢人。」

耶穌在這話裡的重點是什麼呢?在這之前,法利賽人告狀,耶穌的門徒吃飯前不洗手,廢了古人的遺傳。但耶穌指出遵守神的誡命比遵守古人的遺傳重要,然後繼續指出,用俗手吃物對別人沒有妨礙,不會污穢人;但是不守神的誡命行出來的才會污穢人。

法利賽人不敢在耶穌面前反駁,但是卻在門徒面前反應了他們的不服氣。因為他們一向自認為是宗教界的領袖,他們接受的教導也是學來的,這個不知哪裡來的拉比,怎麼就認為不對?

再接下去,耶穌的話就更難聽了。耶穌說:“凡栽種的物,若不是我天父栽種的,必要拔出來。”意思就是他們是不屬神的人,對法利賽人而言,這簡直是極大的侮蔑。自認為最虔誠最守律法的人,竟被耶穌批評到如此一文不值。下一句更厲害了:“他們是瞎眼領路的。若是瞎子領瞎子,兩個人都要掉在坑裡。”指法利賽人是瞎子,帶領無知的人,大家都會一起掉進坑裡。

Take God at His Word and He Will Provide for All Your Needs

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 4:1-6.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-7:  Here we read a story of how God miraculously provided for a widow and her two sons.  There are so many lessons we can learn from this passage, including that:
1. God is full of compassion.  He has a heart for widows, the fatherless and the poor.
2. God will fill as much room as you give Him.  
3. Trust God, take Him at His Word and He will provide for your needs.

On verses 8-17:  In the previous 7 verses, Elisha served a poor widow with two sons.  Here Elisha interacts with the other end of the spectrum: a rich married woman who apparently was barren.  This rich woman and her husband had a heart to serve God and serve Elisha, opening up their home to feed meals to Elisha, and eventually creating a room for him on their roof.  In return, Elisha asks what he can do for this woman. The woman is polite and says she does not lack a thing.  But upon learning that she and her husband had no son, and thus no heir to whom they could pass on their wealth, Elisha declares, “About this next year you will hold a son in your arms” (v16).  The woman replies, “No, my lord.  Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant” (v16) suggesting that deep down this woman longed for a son but was hesitant to ask.  True to His Word, God gives this woman a son.

遺傳和神的誡命

馬太福音15: 1_9遺傳和神的誡命

1那時,有法利賽人和文士從耶路撒冷來見耶穌,說: 2 「你的門徒為什麼犯古人的遺傳呢?因為吃飯的時候,他們不洗手。」 3 耶穌回答說:「你們為什麼因著你們的遺傳,犯神的誡命呢? 4 神說:『當孝敬父母』,又說:『咒罵父母的,必治死他。』 5 你們倒說,無論何人對父母說:『我所當奉給你的已經做了供獻』,6 他就可以不孝敬父母。這就是你們藉著遺傳,廢了神的誡命! 7 假冒為善的人哪!以賽亞指著你們說的預言是不錯的,他說: 8 『這百姓用嘴唇尊敬我,心卻遠離我。 9 他們將人的吩咐當做道理教導人,所以拜我也是枉然。』」

法利賽人告狀了。他們跟著耶穌和耶穌的門徒,不是為了學習,而是為了要把他們比下去。因為耶穌是一個不在猶太人的宗教制度裡所產生的拉比,祂皂行為有很多不合法利賽人的規矩。所以他們不滿耶穌在安息日治病,現在他們不滿耶穌皂門徒吃飯前不洗手。

吃飯前不洗手便是用“俗手”吃飯,也就是沾染了世俗的不潔淨的手,這是禮儀上的不潔淨,不是指衛生上的不潔淨。當然今天我們都知道吃東西之前最好洗手,免得要用手時,把不乾淨的東西也吃進肚裡。但當時的猶太人並不知道原來這和衛生有關,法利賽人只是覺得他們抓到了門徒“大逆不道”的證據,因為他們不遵守古人的遺傳。

耶穌立刻反問他們,那你們為何犯神的誡命?耶穌把這個狀子升高了一級,假如古人的遺傳很重要,那麼神的誡命不是更重要嗎?所以誰犯的罪比較大條?古人只是人,神的話和人的話相比較,哪個更重要,更應該遵守?這是耶穌對法利賽人發出的挑戰。

3 Great Gifts from God to You

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 3:13-27.  Christmas has come early this year, because in this passage we can see three great gifts that God gives to you and me.  Let’s go!

2 Kings 3:13-14 (NIV) 
13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What do we have to do with each other? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.” “No,” the king of Israel answered, “because it was the LORD who called us three kings together to hand us over to Moab.” 
14 Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you or even notice you. 

On verses 13-14: Joram king of Israel, the God-fearing Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and the king of Edom together approach Elisha the prophet for guidance on what to do in their fight against the king of Moab.  Elisha, knowing Joram to be an idol worshipper, wonders, “Why are you coming to me when you can be consulting your idols?”  Joram’s response: “It’s because the Lord has called us here only to be defeated by Moabites” (v13)  There goes Joram blaming God again for something God never told Joram to do.  Elisha states that the only reason he would even consider being in contact with Joram is because of his respect for King Jehoshaphat who has come as well (v14).

耶穌的衣裳穗子

馬太福音14: 34_36耶穌的衣裳穗子

34 他們過了海,來到革尼撒勒地方。 35 那裡的人一認出是耶穌,就打發人到周圍地方去,把所有的病人帶到他那裡, 36 只求耶穌准他們摸他的衣裳穗子(=繸子)。摸著的人就都好了。

革尼撒勒這個地方是加利利沿海的一個小鎮,在迦百農的西南方,曾經是拿弗他利支挀所得為業的一城。那裡的人比拿撒勒的人聰明,一認出耶穌,就打發人去附近的地方,把所有的病人都帶到主那裡。但是他們很有意思,可能也覺得有點過份,不好意思把耶穌累壞了,便只求耶穌准他們摸祂的衣裳穗子。憑著這樣的信心,摸著的人就都好了。

您可能也記得曾經有個患血漏的女人,在人群中摸了耶穌的衣裳穗子,她立刻得到醫治。而耶穌則感到有能力從身上出去,後來女人也出來承認,因此耶穌對她說:“女兒,你的信救了你,平平安安地回去吧!你的災病痊癒了。(可5:34)” 為何猶太人對耶穌的衣裳穗子有如此的信心呢?

我家附近住有猶太人,附近也有一所猶太會堂,因此門前經常有猶太人經過。特別在他們的安息日(週六),有時會看到有人在外套之上披著一條有穗子的蓋白披肩。據說在耶路撒冷的哭牆旁,也會看到一些猶太人頭上蓋着一條長長的白色披肩在禱告或讀經,那就是猶太人的禱告披肩,希伯來文稱為“Tallit”。它的獨特之處就是在布的四角有四個穗子,是按照神當年吩咐摩西的樣式做的,至今己有三千四百年的歷史。

在民數記和申命記都有記載:“耶和華曉諭摩西說: 你吩咐以色列人,叫他們世世代代在衣服邊上做穗子,又在底邊的穗子上釘一根藍細帶子。

Be Known for These Two Things

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 3:1-12.  Let’s go!

2 Kings 3:1-3 (NIV) 
1 Joram son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned twelve years. 
2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, but not as his father and mother had done. He got rid of the sacred stone of Baal that his father had made. 
3 Nevertheless he clung to the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit; he did not turn away from them. 

On verses 1-3:  Joram becomes king of Israel and gets rid of the sacred stone of Baal, which his father Ahab and mother Jezebel had used to worship the idol Baal.  But Joram “clung to the sins of Jeroboam” (v3), suggesting that Joram continues to worship the idols that Jeroboam had set up.  As such, “he did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (v2)

What can we learn from this?  Partial idolatry is still idolatry.  When you stand before God, God will not accept you or reject you based on how you compared to your parents or your peers, but on how you compared to God’s perfect and holy standards.  Even if you think you are much better than your parents or your peers, the fact is that we are not blameless in God’s sight until there is no sin or idolatry in our lives at all.  That’s why we need Jesus, whose blood alone is able to cleanse and pay for our sins.

耶穌履海的神蹟

馬太福音14: 22_33耶穌履海的神蹟

22 耶穌隨即催門徒上船,先渡到那邊去,等他叫眾人散開。 23 散了眾人以後,他就獨自上山去禱告。到了晚上,只有他一人在那裡。 24 那時船在海中,因風不順,被浪搖撼。 25 夜裡四更天,耶穌在海面上走,往門徒那裡去。 26 門徒看見他在海面上走,就驚慌了,說:「是個鬼怪!」便害怕,喊叫起來。 27 耶穌連忙對他們說:「你們放心!是我,不要怕!」 28 彼得說:「主,如果是你,請叫我從水面上走到你那裡去。」 29 耶穌說:「你來吧!」彼得就從船上下去,在水面上走,要到耶穌那裡去。 30 只因見風甚大,就害怕,將要沉下去,便喊著說:「主啊,救我!」31 耶穌趕緊伸手拉住他,說:「你這小信的人哪,為什麼疑惑呢?」 32 他們上了船,風就住了。 33 在船上的人都拜他,說:「你真是神的兒子了!」

這是耶穌和彼得一同履海的神蹟。他們因著有從上而來的能力,所以能勝過地心吸力的力量;我們特別要從彼得身上,學習五樣寶貴的功課。

(一)信心的異象雖然環境危險可怕,有黑夜狂風巨浪,但是彼得倚靠主,甚麼都不怕,他對主說:「請叫我從水面上走到你那裏去。」這是信心的異象。走在水面上,雖然是人類從未做過的,雖然從科學的觀點來看是不可能;但是信心比任何定律更大,仰望耶穌的時候,甚麼都能作。(徒二16)

Every Miracle is a Parable

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 2:13-25.  Let’s go!

2 Kings 2:13-14 (NIV) 
13 He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.
14 Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the water with it. “Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over. 

On verses 13-14:  Elisha could not cross the Jordan River on his own power.  But when he picks up his mentor Elijah’s cloak and strikes the river with it, the waters part and he crosses over.  Likewise, on our own we sinners have no way of crossing over to heaven where God is.  But Jesus gave us His robe of righteousness, and it is because we are armed with Jesus’ robe of righteousness that we can cross over to where God is and have a relationship with Him.

五餅二魚

馬太福音14: 13_21五餅二魚

13 耶穌聽見了,就上船從那裡獨自退到野地裡去。眾人聽見,就從各城裡步行跟隨他。 14 耶穌出來,見有許多的人,就憐憫他們,治好了他們的病人。 15 天將晚的時候,門徒進前來,說:「這是野地,時候已經過了,請叫眾人散開,他們好往村子裡去自己買吃的。」 16 耶穌說:「不用他們去,你們給他們吃吧!」 17 門徒說:「我們這裡只有五個餅、兩條魚。」 18 耶穌說:「拿過來給我。」 19 於是吩咐眾人坐在草地上,就拿著這五個餅、兩條魚,望著天祝福,掰開餅遞給門徒,門徒又遞給眾人。 20 他們都吃,並且吃飽了。把剩下的零碎收拾起來,裝滿了十二個籃子。21 吃的人,除了婦女孩子,約有五千。

這是非常忙碌又令人難過的一天,耶穌回到家鄉教導天國的道理,沒想到家鄉人因為他的家庭狀況不顯赫而看不起他,又聽到施洗約翰被殺的消息,耶穌的心黯然。於是祂上船想要獨自退到野地裡去。

沒想到眾人聽見,就從各城裡步行跟隨祂。這是一個何等大的反差,家鄉人棄絕祂,其他各城的人倒來就祂了。拿撒勒人的損失真不小!在黯然的心情裡,耶穌出來看見有許多人,就憐憫他們,治好了他們的病人。在耶穌的悲傷裡,祂依然看見人們的絕望和需求,賜給他們滿滿的希望和醫治。

耶穌明白人的需要。當夕陽的光輝照遍八福山時,耶穌也知道,晚餐的時間到了。祂體恤眾人的饑餓。當我想到耶穌連我們一餐沒吃都感到不捨時,心裡的感動無以復加。在眾人要挨餓時,他們可能不知如何是好,卻不想離開耶穌,耶穌就使他們的饑餓得到飽足。

6 Characteristics of the Best Disciples

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 2:1-12. Let’s go!

2 Kings 2:1-2 (NIV) 
1 When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 
2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

On verses 1-2, 4, 6:  Elijah and Elisha both know that the Lord is going to take Elijah back to heaven that day.  Elijah gives Elisha three different opportunities to say goodbye and leave, but Elisha refuses to leave, each time replying, “As surely as the Lord lives, I will not leave you.” (v2, 4, 6)

What can we learn from this?    Over the years I have had the privilege of watching some very good leaders mentor and disciple younger leaders.  I myself have also had the opportunity to mentor and disciple younger leaders.  I find that the best disciples or “mentees” have some key characteristics in common.  In 2 Kings 2:1-12 we see six of these key characteristics in Elijah’s disciple Elisha.