耶穌在低加波利Decapolis

可5:21 那人就走了,在低加波利傳揚耶穌為他做了何等大的事,眾人就都稀奇。

昨天我們讀到耶穌到了推羅西頓,為迦南婦人的女兒趕鬼。然後,馬可告訴我們,耶穌離開推羅,經過西頓,又從低加波利境內到加利利海。你還記得上次耶穌在低加波利的一座城裡做了何事嗎?

祂特地坐船到低加波利,一上船就碰到一個被鬼附的格拉森人。耶穌讓附在他身上的鬼進入豬群,所有的豬都瘋狂跳入海裡。以致那裡的人懼怕祂,求耶穌離開。那個被鬼附的人想跟耶穌走,但是耶穌要他回家,把神怎樣憐憫他的事告訴親友。現在耶穌回來了,是否要看看那個人的情況如何?(可7:31)

格拉森在加大拉區,也是低加波利的十座城之一。低加波利就是十個城的意思,英文是Decapolis,譯為德卡波利斯。就好像素里巿(或溫哥華,或列治文)在大溫哥華區裡,也是B.C.省(英屬哥倫比亞)的一個城巿。

沒想到這次一來,就有許多人從低加波利的其他城巿裡也來找耶穌。可見那個曾被鬼附的人做的見證何等有效。馬可如此形容:那人就走了,在低加波利傳揚耶穌為他做了何等大的事,眾人就都稀奇(馬5:21)。現在聽到耶穌來了,於是眾人都出來跟隨耶穌,要聽聽祂的教導。

有人帶來一個耳聾舌結的人,又帶著瘸子、瞎子、啞巴、有殘疾的和好些別的病人,都放在祂腳前。耶穌一一醫好他們,他們就歸榮耀給以色列的神。那是外邦人居住的地方,有的人拜希臘的神,有的人拜亞斯她錄—迦南地的女神,但是現在他們想要認識以色列的神,因為這個神看起來又真實又有能力。

When God Trash Talks

Hi GAMErs,

Now onto today’s passage.  Today’s passage is Job 38:19-41.  Let’s go!
 
Job 38:19-21 (NIV) 
19  “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? 
20  Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings? 
21  Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!

On verses 19-38:  Out of the storm God is answering Job.  God moves from asking Job questions about the origins of the universe (v4-18) to questions about the skies and outer space in verses 19-38. 

Notice that in response to Job’s highly confrontational and adversarial way of talking to God and about God, God responds in a confrontational and adversarial way as well.  Just look at God’s tone in verses 19 to 21.  Or in verses 3 and 4.  Or verse 18.  This is perhaps the closest you will find in the Bible to God trash-talking a person whom He loves and will later bless.  

耶穌在推羅西頓

馬太福音15:28 耶穌說:「婦人,你的信心是大的!照你所要的,給你成全了吧。」從那時候,她女兒就好了。

以前我不明白揀選的意思,因為主耶穌的救恩對我而言更像是普世救恩。祂的十字架不是為全人類而背的嗎?祂的血不是為眾罪人而流的嗎?不是單單為我啊!

但是當我再讀到耶穌為了撒瑪利亞婦人,頂著烈陽去敍加;為了格拉森被鬼附的人,飄湖過浪,幾乎滅頂;現在又為了一個外邦小女孩,帶著門徒長途跋涉到推羅西頓,我逐漸明白何謂耦選,明白每一個人的得救都不是偶然。當主耶穌來找我們時,祂都是一對一的,在呼喚。然後由點而面,藉著一個人的得救使更多人認識祂,從而決定自己要不要這份救恩。

推羅和西頓都是舊約和新約裡有名的城巿,尤其在舊約裡更記載了她們輝煌的歷史。現在這兩地都在黎巴嫩的國境內,但是你可能不知道,原來這兩地都曾經是神賜給以色列人的地方。

西頓,今天叫賽達(Saida,阿拉伯語意為“釣魚”)。從前西頓是以挪亞的曾孫,迦南的長子命名(創10:15),並可能是他的後代定居之處。古代迦南的北部邊界延伸到西頓(創10:19);後來雅各預言這是西布倫的邊界(創49:13);約書亞也認為那是神應許以色列的一部分(書13:6);西頓被包括在亞設地業的北部邊界(書19:28)。西布倫和亞設都是雅各的兒子。

Out of the Storm God Speaks

Hi GAMErs,
Now onto today’s passage.  Today’s passage is Job 38:1-18.  Let’s go!

Job 38:1-3 (NIV) 
1  Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
2  “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?
3  Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

On verses 1-18:  Here we see the Lord’s long awaited reply to Job.  Interestingly, God does not directly answer Job’s question about the reason for his suffering.  Rather, in response to Job’s adversarial and confrontational way of approaching God, God asks Job all sorts of questions about the origins of the universe that Job cannot answer.

Notice verse 1 says that the Lord answered Job “out of the storm”.  The storm being referred to here could possibly be an actual weather storm going on while the Lord is speaking to Job.  The “storm” is also referring to the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, and financial torment that Job has faced in losing his family, his fortune, his friends and his health.

耶穌在格拉森

路加福音8:39 「你回家去,傳說神為你做了何等大的事。」

實際上,大多數聖經學者認為耶穌從來沒有去過格拉森。根據馬太,馬可,路加三人的描寫,有些人會以為耶穌去過格拉森。從考古學家的觀點,格拉森在加利利湖的東南方,離開加利利海最南端至少35哩,她是低加波利(十個城)中的一個大城,其範圍包括了數十哩外的加利利東岸。

馬太寫作的對象是猶太人,所以他稱那是加大拉人的地方,因為加大拉離加利利南端只有六哩,一提加大拉,大家都知道是指什麼地方;而馬可和路加寫作的對象是外邦人,所以稱那個被鬼附的是格拉森人。他們三個都沒有說耶穌去格拉森,而說是去了格拉森人的地方,或加大拉人的地方。

1970年考古學家Tzaferis在迦百農東南九哩,靠近加利利湖邊,挖掘一間拜占庭教會的時候,在300 碼遠的地方,發現了一處從未被人挖掘的土丘,就是現在的Tell El- Kursi。Kursi有陡峭坡度的山崖在海旁,也有洞穴與墳墓在山邊,四周環境極符合福音書的記載。在加利利湖東岸,只有這裏有個山崖,直瀉入海。Tzaferis 就在這一帶工作,証實了這裏就是當年耶穌趕鬼入豬群的地方。

在這之前,耶穌和門徒上了一條船,然後耶穌吩咐渡到湖那邊去。途中耶穌睡著了,而湖上開始起暴風,船裡滿了水,耶穌還在睡覺。終於有一個門徒忍不住來叫醒耶穌:「老師啊,我們都快死了。(夫子!我們喪命啦!)」耶穌不慌不忙地站起來,可能先伸個懶腰,然後斥責狂風大浪,風浪就平靜了。門徒又懼怕又稀奇。

3 Lessons from Job 37

Hi GAMErs,

Now onto today’s passage.  Today’s passage is Job 37:1-24.  Let’s go!
 
Job 37:1-24 (NIV) 
1  “At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place. 
2  Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth. 
3  He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. ……

On verses 1-13:  It is possible that just as Elihu is speaking a storm is taking place, and so Elihu invites Job to listen to the thunder in the background (v1-2).  In any event, whether or not a storm was actually taking place while Elihu was talking, here Elihu speaks about how God is behind all kinds of weather and the elements – lightning (v3), thunder (v4-5), snow (v6), rain (v6), strong winds (v9), ice and freezing conditions (v10), and clouds (v11-13).  Elihu’s point is that because we cannot understand all that God does – “how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash…how the clouds hang poised” (v15-16) – who does Job think he is to believe he can successfully argue his case with God, who is so much bigger than human beings? (v19-20) 

耶穌在敘加(Sychar)

約翰福音4:26 耶穌說:「這和你說話的就是祂(彌賽亞)。」

敘加在哪裡?耶穌去過敘加嗎?這樣說你可能還是想不起來。假如,這是一個在舊約時代稱為「示劍」的城巿,座落在以巴路山和基利心山的山腳下,你想起來了嗎?或許,再給你一個線索,亞伯拉罕的孫子,就是神為他取名「以色列」的那位,此地有一口井就是以他為名。

然後,在以色列國分裂之後,此地被分到北國以色列的撒瑪利亞地區內,成為撒瑪利亞的一座城。在北國以色列被亞述滅亡之後,大部份的以色列人被擄到亞述,亞述王又遷了許多外邦人來住此地,如此混雜之後,撒瑪利亞人從此失去他們純正的以色列血統,而被猶太南國的人看輕了。但是耶和華神是否也看輕他們呢?(假如你一看到敘加,就立刻想起這個故事,表示你是一個很注重細節的人,給自己拍拍手鼓勵鼓勵)

在敘加發生的一件事,很明顯地表達了神對他們的愛和憐惜。那是什麼事呢?你想起來了嗎?在一個炎熱的中午,日正當空,沒有人會出來打水時,有一個撒瑪利亞婦人出來打水了。她根本不想碰到任何人。卻沒料到,有一個卅來歲的猶太男子,在那裡等她,溫和地看著她。

他可能不很帥,因為《聖經》上形容他沒有佳形美容,他向她要水喝。她很奇怪,這男子一看就知道是猶太人,自以為聖潔的猶太人怎麼會不耻下問地向一個撒瑪利亞女人要水喝,不怕被沾污了嗎?

Put Your Hope in God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Job 36:17-33.  Let’s go!

Job 36:17 (NIV)
17  But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked; judgment and justice have taken hold of you.
 
On verse 17:  Much like Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar before him, Elihu accuses Job of being wicked, saying that the difficulty that has beset Job is Job’s punishment for being wicked (v17).  Praise God that when others betray us, wrongly accuse us or unfairly speak ill of us, Jesus stands at our side to support us.   As 2 Timothy 4:17 says, “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength…I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.”

Job 36:18-21 (NIV)
18  Be careful that no one entices you by riches; do not let a large bribe turn you aside.
19  Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts sustain you so you would not be in distress?
20  Do not long for the night, to drag people away from their homes.
21  Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction.