安息日的主

馬太福音12:8   因為人子是安息日的主。

耶穌是在怎樣的情況下說這句話呢?你記得嗎?

有一天,耶穌在安息日從麥地經過。他的門徒餓了,就掐起麥穗來吃。 法利賽人看到了就責備耶穌,說祂皂門徒做了不該做的事情。什麼不該做的事情呢?不該肚子餓嗎?不該吃麥穗嗎?還是不該掐麥穗?還是根本不該在安息日從麥地經過?

法利賽人注重的是該不該。

耶穌注重的,是門徒的需要。門徒餓了,需要食物,把食物放在口裡。在耶穌看來理所當然。

從法利賽人的角度,耶穌以大衛吃祭司的餅為例來解釋。大衛饑餓時,都可以吃祭司才可以吃的陳設餅;相較之下,麥穗應該更沒問題了。

法利賽人認為掐麥穗是犯了安息日的大罪,但是審判人有沒有罪的是誰呢?不該由法利賽人來定門徒的罪。法利賽人雖自以為義,卻也沒有從神來的權柄訂人的罪。

假如祭司在安息日,在聖殿裡工作不算罪;那麼為什麼耶穌的門徒因為饑餓掐麥穗是罪呢?律法裡沒有這一條,很多條文細節都是後人加上去的。因此,只有安息日的主可以審判人是否有罪,是否干犯了安息日。

Cry Out to God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is full of helpful lessons.  Let’s break it down into smaller pieces.

Job 36:1-4 (NIV)
1  Elihu continued:
2  “Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God’s behalf.
3  I get my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe justice to my Maker.
4  Be assured that my words are not false; one perfect in knowledge is with you.

On verses 1-4:  Elihu is oozing with self-confidence here, even to the point of possibly coming across as arrogant.  For example, he says to Job, “one perfect in knowledge is with you” (v4) – hopefully he is referring to God and not to himself!  What can we learn from this?  Because arrogance repels, be careful to present what you think you know to others in a humble way.

Surrender to God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Job 35:1-8.   Let’s go!

Job 35:1-8 (NIV)
1  Then Elihu said:
2  “Do you think this is just? You say, ‘I will be cleared by God.’
3  Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me, and what do I gain by not sinning?’
4  “I would like to reply to you and to your friends with you.
5  Look up at the heavens and see; gaze at the clouds so high above you……..

On verses 1-8:  Elihu is reminding Job that God is way above us (v5).  God is not worse off because we sin against Him or better off because we obey Him (v6-7).  Rather it is we who are worse off when we sin against Him and we who are better off when we obey (v8).  For God did not give us His commands for His benefit, as if God’s well-being depends on whether we are disobedient or obedient to Him.  Rather, God gave us His commands for our benefit, because He loves us.  

耶穌在拿因城 (Nain)

路加福音 7:13 主看見那寡婦,就憐憫她,對她說:「不要哭!」

拿因城是一座位於拿撒勒東南約八公里的小城,現今在拿撒勒以南數哩的耶斯列平原上,位於小黑門(Little Hermon)的邊緣,一般人都接納它就是《路加福音》所敘述的地點(路7:11)。在希伯來文的Naim裡,意思是使人愉快的綠茵之地,和該地區怡人的景色十分貼切。有人以為她就是舊約裡提到的書念,就是為先知以利沙預備小樓的婦人住處,她的兒子也曾經死了,後被以利沙救活(王下4)。

這個故事最動人之處在於沒有人向耶穌求什麼,寡婦己經傷心欲絕,圍觀的人也都心感不忍。就在這時,耶穌來了,祂一看到這樣的情形就憐憫那寡婦。耶穌叫她不要哭,然後吩咐死人起來。在一片絕望的淚水裡,眾人領受了從耶穌而來的愛和希望。這真是「那坐在黑暗裡的百姓看見了大光,坐在死蔭之地的人有光發現照著他們。」的最佳寫照。在人類的有限裡,我們何等需要神的憐憫。

緊接著就是被希律關在監裡的施洗約翰派門徒去問耶穌,「那將要來的是你嗎?還是我們等候別人呢?」耶穌的回答對我們的意義可能不如對以色列人那麼大。因為在舊約裡,以色列人都期盼著神所應許的彌賽亞快快來臨。施洗約翰為耶穌施洗時相當確信耶穌就是神的兒子,但是他的心裡還是有那麼一點疑惑。我們對信仰也會如此吧,有時信心滿溢,有時又一點信心也沒有。

耶穌在拿撒勒

以賽亞書1:11從耶西的本必發一條,從他根生的枝子必結果實。

當大希律死了之後,瑪利亞和約瑟就帶著小小耶穌從埃及回到他們原來住的地方—拿撒勒。耶穌的童年大部分時間都在這個小村莊度過,那時拿撒勒是一個聲名狼籍的地方,交通很不方便,離國際大道有六公里之遙;但是自從主耶穌升天之後,在一世紀時,此地變成朝聖者的主要目的地,現今城中有報喜堂、聖約瑟堂、聖加百列堂、基督聖桌堂和拿撒勒修女院等可參觀之處。 如今拿撒勒交通方便,公路網四通八達,與加利利的公路系統密切相連。

拿撒勒Netzer(נצרת),這名字的字根zer(נצר),意為“分支(枝椏/苗)”,暗指關於大衛王對彌賽亞的預言。 從耶西的根基起必發一條枝子,這枝必結出果實(賽11:1)。耶西是大衛的父親,耶西的本(根)指的是大衛的後裔,所以彌賽亞必須合乎預言裡的要求,祂必須是大衛的後裔。

拿撒勒在〈聖經〉裡是一個默默無聞的小地方,但是天使在這裡告訴馬利亞,她將要從聖靈懷孕生子;耶穌也以此地為自己的家鄉(太13:54),但是耶穌在自己家鄉的會堂教訓人時,這地方的人卻因為他們對耶穌一家太熟了,以致於看不起耶穌,他們就厭棄耶穌。因此耶穌說:「大凡先知,除了本地、本家之外,沒有不被人尊敬的。」他們不但不接受耶穌,還攆他出城。耶穌因而離開他們,也不在那裡多行異能。拿撒勒人喪失了一個認識彌賽亞的機會。

Come to God on His Terms, Not Yours

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Job 34:21-37.   It’s not an easy to interpret, but if we stay in it long enough there are valuable lessons for us to learn.  Let’s go!

Job 34:21-25 (NIV) 
21  “His eyes are on the ways of men; he sees their every step.
22  There is no dark place, no deep shadow, where evildoers can hide.
23  God has no need to examine men further, that they should come before him for judgment.
24  Without inquiry he shatters the mighty and sets up others in their place.
25  Because he takes note of their deeds, he overthrows them in the night and they are crushed. 

On verses 21-25:  God sees everything we do, so there is no need to request a hearing with God as Job did, as if we need to remind God of all the good we have done.  Because God sees it all and nothing escapes His notice, He is the best qualified to judge and His judgments are always just.

耶穌在哥拉汛 (Korazin / Chorazim)

路加福音10:13 哥拉汛哪,你有禍了!伯賽大啊,你有禍了!因為在你們中間所行的異能,若行在推羅、西頓,他們早已披麻蒙灰、坐在地上悔改了。

在整本《聖經》裡,只提到哥拉汛兩次,一次在〈路加福音〉,一次在〈馬太福音〉;兩次都是被罵,就是今天經文裡的主角。哥拉汛;迦百農和伯賽大是人稱耶穌傳福音的鐡三角,意思就是因為其地理位置相近,形成了一個三角型,而耶穌在這三個城鎮的時間也特別多,所以稱之為福音的鐡三角。

現在經常聽到有信徒說,傳福音很難,都沒有人要信耶!今天你看了耶穌傳福音之後,也是如此痛心地指責那些人的不信,心裡可能會感到安慰一些。想當年主耶穌週遊四方,神蹟奇事不斷,當地人還不肯相信,還要驅逐耶穌;更何況我們這些平凡的信徒,所遭受的抵擋原是正常。因為在人心裡有著撒旦的位置,怎麼會輕易讓耶穌取代?所以保羅說,若不是聖靈感動,沒有人能稱呼耶穌是主(林前12:3),是一句何等真實的話,鼓勵我們傳福音更要倚靠禱告,求聖靈動工。

Just…The Way You Are

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Job 34:1-20.  Let’s go! 

From today’s passage I learn a couple important lessons:
Be careful what you say.  Over and over Elihu recalls words that Job has spoken, paraphrases them, and then challenges the validity of those words.  Elihu did this before in Job 33:9, and he does it again here in Job 34 at verses 5, 6 and 9. 

What can we learn from this?  God is not the only one who will hold us accountable for careless words we have spoken (Matthew 12:36). People will as well.  Especially in an age of social media, you need to be careful with what you say.  When you’re angry and in pain like Job was, be especially careful with your words.  As Proverbs 13:3 says, “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.”  

耶穌在伯賽大

馬可福音8:22他們來到伯賽大,有人帶一個瞎子來,求耶穌摸他。

耶穌和施洗約翰都是傳天國的福音,但是他們傳福音的方式是相反的。施洗約翰以約但河為據點,呼召各地的人到他那裡去悔改,洗禮。耶穌則行走於猶大地各個鄉村城鎮,到處呼召人出來跟隨祂。

耶穌呼召的第一批門徒原先都是住在伯賽大,這是腓力,彼得,安得烈的家鄉;但是在耶穌呼召他們時,彼得和安得烈己經住在迦百農。

伯賽大位於加利利湖的東北角,在約但河入湖處的東邊,附近有許多野生動物和魚類,所以其亞蘭文原名意思是「漁人之家」,也有人譯為「捕魚之家」或「撒網之地」。在以色列有兩個地點被考古學家認為是當年的伯賽大 :  Et-Tell  和El-Araj (阿拉伯語),到目前為止尚未有定論,但只有一個伯賽大Et-Tell 可以去參觀。

伯賽大在舊約裡曾是基述(Geshur)的大城,也就是大衛的妻子(基述王達買的女兒)瑪迦的娘家。大衛和瑪迦生的兒子押沙龍,因為哥哥暗嫩強姦他的妹妹她瑪,因此找了一個機會殺死暗嫩,之後就逃到外公家裡,也就是當時的基述。此地在主前732年被亞述王所滅。根據猶太史學家約瑟夫的記載,在耶穌時代的伯賽大是個小漁村,分封王腓力將其重建成一個希臘城巿,並以奧古斯都之女的名字命名:「猶利亞斯伯賽大」(Bethsaida Julias)。但是猶太人並不接受此名。

迦百農和伯賽大非常接近,相距不到六公里。在耶穌的時代,這兩個城巿由兩個分封王:希律·安提帕和希律·腓力管轄,因此有一條主要的道路連接這兩座城。當耶穌聽到施洗約翰被希律安提帕斬頭之後,原想和門徒暗暗地到曠野歇一歇,沒想到眾人看見他們,就從各城步行比他們先到一步。耶穌看他們如同羊沒有牧人一樣,便開口教訓他們,說啊說的,天就黑了。

God’s Purpose in Your Pain

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Job 33:19-33.  Let’s go!

Job 33:19-26 (NIV) 
19  Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in his bones,
20  so that his very being finds food repulsive and his soul loathes the choicest meal.
21  His flesh wastes away to nothing, and his bones, once hidden, now stick out.
22  His soul draws near to the pit, and his life to the messengers of death.
23  “Yet if there is an angel on his side as a mediator, one out of a thousand, to tell a man what is right for him,
24  to be gracious to him and say, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for him’–
25  then his flesh is renewed like a child’s; it is restored as in the days of his youth.
26  He prays to God and finds favor with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state. 

On verses 19-26:  Just before these verses Elihu describes one way that God can speak to us: through supernatural means like a vision or a dream (v15-16).  Earlier in chapter 32 we learned that another way that God speaks to us: through godly people.  But visions, dreams and godly people are not the only channels by which God tries to get our attention.