服侍的生命

馬太福音20: 17_28_服侍的生命

17 耶穌上耶路撒冷去的時候,在路上把十二個門徒帶到一邊,對他們說: 18 「看哪,我們上耶路撒冷去,人子要被交給祭司長和文士,他們要定他死罪, 19 又交給外邦人將他戲弄、鞭打、釘在十字架上,第三日他要復活。」

20 那時,西庇太兒子的母親同她兩個兒子上前來拜耶穌,求他一件事。 21 耶穌說:「你要什麼呢?」她說:「願你叫我這兩個兒子在你國裡,一個坐在你右邊,一個坐在你左邊。」 22 耶穌回答說:「你們不知道所求的是什麼。我將要喝的杯,你們能喝嗎?」他們說:「我們能。」 23 耶穌說:「我所喝的杯,你們必要喝;只是坐在我的左右,不是我可以賜的,乃是我父為誰預備的,就賜給誰。」24 那十個門徒聽見,就惱怒他們弟兄二人。 25 耶穌叫了他們來,說:「你們知道,外邦人有君王為主治理他們,有大臣操權管束他們。 26 只是在你們中間不可這樣,你們中間誰願為大,就必做你們的用人; 27 誰願為首,就必做你們的僕人。 28 正如人子來不是要受人的服侍,乃是要服侍人,並且要捨命做多人的贖價。」

當耶穌帶著門徒往耶路撒冷前行時,祂再次告訴他們,此行的目的和後果。這次門徒聽完了全部的信息,不像彼得上次只聽到前一部份。明白了耶穌此行的目的後,門徒之間起了爭執,還有人去把母親帶來求耶穌一件事。

Worship God Alone

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 17:34-41.  Let’s go!

On verses 34-41:  We see some of the main lessons of 2 Kings reiterated here in these verses:

1.  We were made to worship the Lord alone (v36).  Three times in this short passage it says “Do not worship other gods” (v35, 37, 38). How do you know if you’re worshiping something other than the Lord?  Whatever we put first in our lives is what we worship.  What you worship is reflected in three things: your wallet, your time and your thoughts.  What we spend the most money, time and thought on is an indicator of what we truly worship.  

2.  Only in the Lord do we find real hope and deliverance (v39).

3.  Despite being admonished repeatedly to worship the Lord alone, the Israelites stubbornly persisted in their idol-worshiping ways, putting other things before God (v34, 40, 41a).  We too can be stubborn in our idol-worshiping ways.  We must be careful to guard against idol-worshiping tendencies.  

Keep It Simple and Seek to Please God Alone

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 17:24-33. Let’s go!

2 Kings 17:25 (NIV) 
25  When they first lived there, they did not worship the LORD; so he sent lions among them and they killed some of the people. 

On verses 24-26:  Shalmaneser king of Assyria has deported the Israelites from Samaria (Israel’s capital city) and replaces them with people from foreign lands.  These foreigners do not worship the Lord in Samaria and are attacked, and in some cases killed, by lions.  This is the third case in 1 Kings and 2 Kings where someone is killed by a lion.  

What can we learn in this case?  When we do not worship the Lord but instead focus on other things, we become vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy, who is described as a lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).  

2 Kings 17:33 (NIV) 
33  They worshiped the LORD, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought. 

進葡萄園工作的比喻

馬太福音20: 1_16_進葡萄園工作的比喻

1「因為天國好像家主清早出去雇人進他的葡萄園做工, 2 和工人講定一天一錢銀子,就打發他們進葡萄園去。 3 約在巳初出去,看見市上還有閒站的人, 4 就對他們說:『你們也進葡萄園去,所當給的,我必給你們。』他們也進去了。 5 約在午正和申初又出去,也是這樣行。 6 約在酉初出去,看見還有人站在那裡,就問他們說:『你們為什麼整天在這裡閒站呢?』 7 他們說:『因為沒有人雇我們。』他說:『你們也進葡萄園去。』 8 到了晚上,園主對管事的說:『叫工人都來,給他們工錢,從後來的起,到先來的為止。』 9 約在酉初雇的人來了,各人得了一錢銀子。 10 及至那先雇的來了,他們以為必要多得,誰知也是各得一錢。

11 「他們得了,就埋怨家主說: 12 『我們整天勞苦受熱,那後來的只做了一小時,你竟叫他們和我們一樣嗎?』 13 家主回答其中的一人說:『朋友,我不虧負你。你與我講定的不是一錢銀子嗎? 14 拿你的走吧!我給那後來的和給你一樣,這是我願意的。 15 我的東西難道不可隨我的意思用嗎?因為我做好人,你就紅了眼嗎?』16 這樣,那在後的將要在前,在前的將要在後了。」

馬太福音第20章講到天國的另一個比喻,就是進葡萄園工作的比喻。這比喻主要內容是講到一個家主在清早,巳初,正午,申初,及酉初,這幾個不同的時間出去請工人進葡萄園作工,最後他們各人所得的工錢都是一錢銀子。

門徒的賞賜

馬太福音19: 27_30_門徒的賞賜

27 彼得就對他說:「看哪,我們已經撇下所有的跟從你,將來我們要得什麼呢?」28 耶穌說:「我實在告訴你們:你們這跟從我的人,到復興的時候,人子坐在他榮耀的寶座上,你們也要坐在十二個寶座上,審判以色列十二個支派。 29 凡為我的名撇下房屋或是弟兄、姐妹、父親、母親、兒女、田地的,必要得著百倍,並且承受永生。 30 然而,有許多在前的將要在後,在後的將要在前。

「看哪,我們已經撇下所有的跟從你,將來我們要得什麼呢?」這是彼得的疑問,也是許多信徒的疑問。因為人都很現實,我既然付出了,可以得到怎樣的回報?耶穌的回答超過彼得所求所想,因為神能給的和人心想得到的,實在有一大段的距離。就像小孩想的只是一個禮物,父母想的卻是傾其所能的栽培。

假如你撇下所有的跟從耶穌,你希望將來得到什麼?當一個男人熱烈地追求一個女人時,他會不顧一切地付出。有的人天天做早餐給女朋友吃,有的人不分陰晴刮風下雨地送她上下班,有的人買鑽戒、名牌包包等等,這樣的付出是為了什麼,不就是希望早日贏得芳心嗎?當父母省吃減用地供應孩子上名校,又為了什麼?

耶穌明白人的心裡就是這些東西,因此對門徒說:「你們這跟從我的人,到復興的時候,人子坐在祂榮耀的寶座上,你們也要坐在十二個寶座上,審判以色列十二個支派。」這是主對門徒的應許,這應許比起門徒的付出如何?

The Cost of Persistently Sinning Against God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 17:14-23.  Let’s go!

2 Kings 17:22-23 (NIV) 
22  The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them
23  until the LORD removed them from his presence, as he had warned through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria, and they are still there. 

On verses 14-23:  These verses summarize the overall story of 2 Kings: Despite the Lord warning His people about sinning against Him and about the consequences that would result from their persistent sin, the Israelites both in Israel and in Judah persisted in all forms of sinning against the Lord (v14 to 19).  So the Lord does as He had warned: just as Abijah had prophesied approximately 200 years before in 1 Kings 14:15-16, God thrusts the Israelites from His presence and out of the land that He had given to them (v20-23).

在神凡事都能

馬太福音19: 23_27_在神凡事都能

23 耶穌對門徒說:「我實在告訴你們:財主進天國是難的。 24 我又告訴你們:駱駝穿過針的眼,比財主進神的國還容易呢!」 25 門徒聽見這話,就稀奇得很,說:「這樣誰能得救呢?」 26 耶穌看著他們說:「在人這是不能的,在神凡事都能。」27 彼得就對他說:「看哪,我們已經撇下所有的跟從你,將來我們要得什麼呢?」

主耶穌這段話是在年輕的財主憂憂愁愁離去後說的,看著他的背影,想到他一生的規劃何等仔細,為人何等精明,卻無法在永生和財產之間分出高下,不禁感觸良多:「財主進天國是難的!」

你可曾經歷過如此艱難的時刻,在永生和財富之間做選擇?

有位老牧師說,從前古代的耶路撒冷城,日落西山之後,城門便會關上,人要進城,便要靠城門旁的側門出入,這側門細小,只有一個人的身位,而這道側門的名稱,就是「針眼門」。可以想像,財主晚上來到城門,要進城的話,只能自己進去,不要說背後的駱駝不能進入「針眼門」,駱駝背上大大小小的財物,更沒有可能進城了。所以,要麼就放棄財物,身無一物的自己進城,要麼就留在城外,哀哭切齒。耶穌所講的,甚有道理。

但是聖經考古的結論是,這個假設沒有任何根據。考古學家在古城發掘時,的確發現古城門,城門有大也有小的,但沒有發現一些古代城門,設有另一道小側門,枉論耶路撒冷城門有「針眼門」。

God Is Far More Merciful Than People

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 17:1-13.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-13:  One thing that strikes me as I read this passage is how much more merciful and gracious the Lord is compared to Shalmaneser king of Assyria.  King Hoshea of Israel had been Shalmaneser’s vassal; in other words, King Hoshea had a relationship with Shalmaneser such that King Hoshea would pay tribute to Shalmaneser each year in exchange for Shalmaneser’s agreement to protect and not hurt Hoshea’s kingdom of Israel.  But secretly King Hoshea began to side with Egypt and stopped paying tribute to Shalmaneser.  In response to Hoshea’s rebellion and disloyalty, Shalmaneser seizes Hoshea, puts him in prison, lays siege to Israel for 3 years and deports the Israelites to Assyria.  

Just as King Hoshea was unfaithful to King Shalmaneser of Assyria, the Israelites were unfaithful to the Lord.  Verses 7-12 describe how the Israelites worshiped other gods, imitated the religious practices of foreign nations, and secretly did things against the Lord that were not right.  Rather than putting them in prison or taking away their land immediately the way Shalmaneser did, the Lord was patient with the Israelites from generation to generation, warning them not to worship idols.  It was only after persistent rebellion that the Lord finally disciplines the Israelites by allowing Assyria to invade Israel and deport the Israelites to Assyria.

來跟從我

馬太福音19: 16_22_來跟從我

16 有一個人來見耶穌說:「夫子,我該做什麼善事才能得永生?」 17 耶穌對他說:「你為什麼以善事問我呢?只有一位是善的。你若要進入永生,就當遵守誡命。」 18 他說:「什麼誡命?」耶穌說:「就是不可殺人,不可姦淫,不可偷盜,不可作假見證, 19 當孝敬父母,又當愛人如己。」 20 那少年人說:「這一切我都遵守了,還缺少什麼呢?」 21 耶穌說:「你若願意做完全人,可去變賣你所有的,分給窮人,就必有財寶在天上;你還要來跟從我。」 22 那少年人聽見這話,就憂憂愁愁地走了,因為他的產業很多。

有很多人都很會規劃人生,不僅要贏在起跑點,而且什麼都要爭取到最好的:上最好的學校,進入最好的公司。來見耶穌的這個年輕人也是一個很有上進心的年輕人,他把自己的人生規劃得很好,而且努力地把每一件該做的事都盡力去做,力求完美。

但是他的心裡有一個不滿足,跟歷代的君王一樣,他希望得著永生,永遠的生命。這樣的人有錢,有品格,有智慧,什麼都有,唯一的不滿足就是無法一直活下去,不讓自己的肥水流入他人的手裡。從猶太人的角度來看,能守住十誡就己經幾乎完美了。對這樣的人而言,神對他還能有什麼更高的要求呢?他自己也是這麼看的,他覺得或許在自己的完美之外,再多做一點善事就無可挑剔,值得擁有永生了。

Before You Make That Change, Ask Why

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 King 16:1-20.  Let’s go!

2 Kings 16:3 (NIV) 
3  He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. 

On verses 1-4:  Ahaz replaces his father Jotham as king of Judah. Unlike his father, Ahaz is a staunch idol worshipper.  As part of worshiping an idol, Ahaz sacrifices his child in the fire (v3), hoping it will bring him prosperity. As horrific as such an act is and sounds, it is also a warning for parents today. Sometimes parents can be tempted to sacrifice their children for the sake of their careers or their financial gain.  So we neglect our children and deprive them of our presence all in the name of “making money for the family”.  While working and being providers for the family is important, let’s remember that in all our working and striving that our real treasure is our children and that what they need even more than money or material things is us, our time and our presence.