Verses Worth Memorizing

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Peter 5:1-14.  Let’s go!

1 Peter 5:1-4 (NIV) 
1  To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed:
2  Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;
3  not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
4  And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

On verses 1-4:  I encourage every parent, small group leader, team leader and anyone else who has the responsibility, passion or gift of shepherding others to meditate on these verses.  May they inform and transform the way you lead those in your care.

耶稣在耶路撒冷_医好38年之瘫子

约翰福音五章17节    耶稣就对他们说:「我父做事直到如今,我也做事。」

这是目前耶路撒冷的旅游景点之一,读过福音书的人都会想去看看这个毕士大池是怎样的,因为耶稣曾经在这里医治了一个瘫了38年的患者。

在20世纪初,考古学家White Fathers 开始在离圣殿山北墙100米的地方发掘。他发现了两个相连的大池,池分成南北两部份,南池(向南)面积约为71米x 51米,北池(向北)面积约有58米x 43.5米,两池之间有一道桥,池的四边与中间共有五条走廊,供求医的人在此等候医治,这与约翰的描述,有五个廊子的说法相符。

毕士大的意思是「怜悯之家」或「双泉之家」或「善堂」,是为一些患病者设立的慈善场所。此池底下有间歇性的硫磺喷泉,每隔若干时候会喷射一次。因为硫磺泉水有医病功能,所以许多病人到此治病。也有天使下来搅动池水,第一个下水的人便可得到医治的传说。据现存的遗迹所见,现在的毕士大池是在一个废墟的大坑中,坑内有石砌的墙壁、大柱子及拱顶等,因为原来的地面不断地填高,以致比水池高出约十米之多。不过,水池仍保留原状,一个「日字形」的建筑物,四周所见,有许多柱廊、柱头、鼓形石块等。

The Sweetness in Suffering for Jesus

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Peter 4:12-19.  Let’s go!

1 Peter 4:12-16 (NIV) 
12  Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
13  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
14  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you…….

On verses 12-16:  It shouldn’t surprise us or seem strange to us whenever we go through painful trials.  Jesus Himself said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  Since suffering and trouble are part of living life on earth, you might as well suffer trouble for the right reasons, says Peter, instead of for the wrong reasons (v15).  If you have to suffer, suffer because of your faith in Jesus.

耶稣在耶路撒冷_尼哥底母的夜访

约翰福音三章16节   耶稣说: 「神爱世人,甚至将他的独生子赐给他们,叫一切信他的不致灭亡,反得永生。」

这个尼哥底母夜访耶稣的故事相信很多人都读过了。今天我想和大家分享一篇马丁路德在他的时代里也经历过一次瘟疫,他写下了一段话:

「我会祈求神的怜悯来保护我们,然后我会尽力去消毒,洁净空气,服用必需的药物。我会避免去那些不需要去的地方,以免我被感染,以致于在不知不觉中也感染他人,因我的过失而导致他人的死亡。倘若神要带我走,祂一定能找到我,并且也明白我所做的一切。因此我不必为自己的死亡或他人的死亡负责。倘若我的隣舍需要我,我会毫不犹豫地去帮助他,我不会因为他的所在或是他的问题而拒绝。这不是要试探神或愚蠢的选择,乃是我对神的敬畏而做的选择。」

〈约翰福音〉第三章,当尼哥底母和耶稣谈到重生时,耶稣以永生做了最后的注释。要有重生,才能进入永生。尼哥底母是个法律赛人,法律赛人是很追求守律法的一类人,因为他们相信神能使死人复活,撒都该人则恰恰相反,他们追求高位和名利,他们不相信死人复活。所以对一个相信死人可以复活的法律赛人而言,信仰里有许多奥秘的事。

Can People Still Receive Salvation After They Die?

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Peter 4:1-11.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-3:  What does Peter mean in verse 1 when he writes, “because whoever suffers in his body is done with sin”?  For us Christians, the moment we die physically is the moment we go to heaven and are done with sin and its ill effects.  Here Peter is saying: live that way now.  Think of your old life – the life you lived in the past before coming to Christ (v3) – as having died already.  Now you are living a new life that is controlled by Christ, not by sin, a life lived for the will of God, not for human desires (v2).  You are a new creation in Christ.  That is your identity, so live that way.  As Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

耶稣在耶路撒冷_洁净圣殿

约翰福音二章17节  他的门徒就想起经上记着说:「我为祢的殿心里焦急,如同火烧。」

主耶稣曾经两次洁净圣殿。第一次是祂刚出来传道的时候。记载在〈约翰福音〉第二章。其余三福音所记载的是第二次洁净圣殿,是祂受死前一周所作的事。这也是祂第一次以成人的身份到耶路撒冷去过逾越节。犹太人曾经是游牧民族,但是后来在迦南地定居后,神规定只能有一个献祭和敬拜的地方。在所罗门圣殿建立之后,大家就一年几次去耶路撒冷过节。过节往往要献祭,但是远道而来的人带着牛羊很不方便,律法也允许他们带钱到耶路撒冷,再买牛羊及献祭用品。

但是在耶稣的时代,由于耶路撒冷圣殿为要维持圣洁,规定奉献的钱币必须是由圣殿发行和加利利地区的钱币才可以,因为这两个地方所发行的钱币只有灯烛,没有人物像。当时罗马帝国发行的钱币就有罗马皇帝的像。为了方便这些朝圣客的需要,就在外人院设立兑换钱币的地方,换钱之后再去买牲畜。这些牲畜摊贩通常都由祭司在负责,或是由祭司检验合格的摊位,表示这些摊子所贩卖的牲畜作献祭用是合格的。而所有自己带牲畜来献祭的人都必须经过祭司检验合格后才可以献祭。如果被祭司检定不合格的话,只好到这些摊贩去进行补贴「兑换」合格的牛羊等牲畜。祭司原本要服务朝圣客,却为了钱与商人勾结,骗取人民的钱财。例如在检验牲畜是否健康时,故意刁难,要求献牲祭者更换另一只新的牲畜,这样贩售动物的摊位就可以多赚兑换手续费,甚至故意以高价售出。

陈终道牧师说,「为甚么两次的事这么相似﹖那正好证明犹太人并没有因耶稣第一次洁净圣殿而悔改。主耶稣拿绳子作鞭子,把卖牛羊鸽子的人都赶出去,推翻兑换银钱之人的桌子,那些人的情形必然十分狼狈。后来主又得再次洁净圣殿,因为那些受责备的人依然如故!」

How To Always Be Ready To Share Jesus With Others

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Peter 3:13-22.  Let’s go!

1 Peter 3:13-15 (NIV) 
13  Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?
14  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.”
15  But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.

On verses 13-15a:  Don’t misunderstand Peter in verse 13.  Peter is not naively saying that no one will want to harm you if you are eager to do good.  Peter himself witnessed the greatest doer of good in history, Jesus Christ, being repeatedly criticized and ultimately crucified by people intent on harming him. But what Peter is saying to his Christian readers is: remember that the Greatest One is on your side.  He will be there to protect you and to keep you from any ultimate harm.  So do not be afraid of those who want to harm you while you live out your faith and calling.  For even if you suffer because of it, you will be more blessed in the end.  When you remember that the Greatest One is on your side, or in Peter’s words, when you “set apart Christ as Lord”, you will not give in to fear.

耶稣在耶路撒冷_12岁的耶稣

路加福音二章49节  耶稣说:「为什么找我呢?岂不知我应当以我父的事为念吗?」

在婴儿耶稣第一次上了耶路撒冷之后,路加医生记载:「孩子渐渐长大,强健起来,充满智慧,又有神的恩在他身上」(路2:40)。路加不是犹太人,但是他为了向一位提阿非罗大人传耶稣的福音,他很努力地去搜集资料,再把这些收集到的史实按著时间记录下来。有解经家认为这些资料很可能都是向耶稣的母亲采访所得。

话说回来,耶稣第二次上耶路撒冷是何时呢?路加记载是在耶稣12岁的时候,跟着父母和亲友从拿撒勒到耶路撒冷去过逾越节。按照摩西律法,神命定以色列的男人每年要上耶路撒冷守三次节期:一是逾越节,二是五旬节或称初熟节,三是柱朋节或称收藏节。后来比较严谨的希勒学派规定,敬虔的妇女至少也要一年过一次逾越节。

逾越节是犹太人记念:神借着摩西把他们从埃及为奴的苦况下拯救出来的大日子。在那个晚上,神差遣灭命的天使杀掉埃及所有头生的人和畜,独独越过门上有涂羊血的以色列家。在那个夜晚,法老答应让以色列人全部离开埃及。以色列人不再是奴隶,成为自由人的日子。从那夜起,神是以色列人的神,以色列人成为神的子民。

How to Treat the One You Marry

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Peter 3:1-12.  There are so many powerful lessons we can learn from this passage.  Let’s go!

1 Peter 3:1-2 (NIV) 
1  Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,
2  when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

On verses 1-2:  Continuing his theme of being submissive to your leaders, a theme which Peter introduced in chapter 2, Peter addresses married women and tells them to be submissive to their husbands.  What is the reason Peter gives for why married women should submit to their husbands?  For Peter it’s about evangelism, or as we say at THRIVE, living out loud: it’s about leading the husband to Jesus – “so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives when they see the purity and reverence of your lives”.    Here again we see Peter’s ongoing emphasis on how a Christian’s actions should speak well of Jesus.   

耶稣在耶路撒冷_婴儿耶稣

路加福音二章22节    按摩西律法满了洁净的日子,他们带着孩子上耶路撒冷去,要把他献于主。

现在我们要来看耶稣在耶路撒冷的事蹟了。你记得耶稣何时开始去耶路撒冷吗?今天的经文己经给您提示了。耶稣第一次去耶路撒冷是被抱着去的,因为他那时还只是个婴儿。

「按摩西律法满了洁净的日子」是指〈利未记〉12章1-8节里,神教导摩西的「母亲洁净礼」,其实有点像华人产后坐月子,只是在摩西律法里对生儿生女后的规定日数不同。生儿子要居家33 天,生女儿要家居66 天。这对女性是一个很好的福利,因为生孩子对母亲的身体是一个极大的消耗,母亲在哺乳的过程中又是另一种消耗,所以居家休息对母体健康的恢复十分重要。

这个「母亲洁净礼」结束后,母亲要把一岁的羊羔作为燔祭,一只雏鸽或是一只斑鸠为赎罪祭,带到会幕门口交给祭司,祭司要为她献祭,她的血源就洁净了。马利亚是献一对斑鸠或两只雏鸽,可见他们的家境并不富裕。

所以我们可以算出,耶稣在出生后第八天行割礼,马利亚居家33 天后,约瑟和马利亚就带着小小耶稣上耶路撒冷去,要把祂献于主,这里的「主」是指耶和华神。你算得出耶稣大约是出生后多久去耶路撒冷吗?(割礼的前七天,其实也算在33天里,你有没有上当呢?)

这里我们看到约瑟和马利亚的敬虔,也看到在神的律法里,母亲需要洁净自己,父亲必须带领家庭,一起把头生的儿子献给主。这就是《圣经》给父母的规范,父母要一起在主前,来担当养儿育女的工作。