耶稣在低加波利Decapolis

可5:21 那人就走了,在低加波利传扬耶稣为他做了何等大的事,众人就都稀奇。

昨天我们读到耶稣到了推罗西顿,为迦南妇人的女儿赶鬼。然后,马可告诉我们,耶稣离开推罗,经过西顿,又从低加波利境内到加利利海。你还记得上次耶稣在低加波利的一座城里做了何事吗?

祂特地坐船到低加波利,一上船就碰到一个被鬼附的格拉森人。耶稣让附在他身上的鬼进入猪群,所有的猪都疯狂跳入海里。以致那里的人惧怕祂,求耶稣离开。那个被鬼附的人想跟耶稣走,但是耶稣要他回家,把神怎样怜悯他的事告诉亲友。现在耶稣回来了,是否要看看那个人的情况如何?(可7:31)

格拉森在加大拉区,也是低加波利的十座城之一。低加波利就是十个城的意思,英文是Decapolis,译为德卡波利斯。就好像素里巿(或温哥华,或列治文)在大温哥华区里,也是B.C.省(英属哥伦比亚)的一个城巿。

没想到这次一来,就有许多人从低加波利的其他城巿里也来找耶稣。可见那个曾被鬼附的人做的见证何等有效。马可如此形容:那人就走了,在低加波利传扬耶稣为他做了何等大的事,众人就都稀奇(马5:21)。现在听到耶稣来了,于是众人都出来跟随耶稣,要听听祂的教导。

有人带来一个耳聋舌结的人,又带着瘸子、瞎子、哑巴、有残疾的和好些别的病人,都放在祂脚前。耶稣一一医好他们,他们就归荣耀给以色列的神。那是外邦人居住的地方,有的人拜希腊的神,有的人拜亚斯她录—迦南地的女神,但是现在他们想要认识以色列的神,因为这个神看起来又真实又有能力。

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.  

耶稣在推罗西顿

马太福音15:28 耶稣说:「妇人,你的信心是大的!照你所要的,给你成全了吧。」从那时候,她女儿就好了。

以前我不明白拣选的意思,因为主耶稣的救恩对我而言更像是普世救恩。祂的十字架不是为全人类而背的吗?祂的血不是为众罪人而流的吗?不是单单为我啊!

但是当我再读到耶稣为了撒玛利亚妇人,顶着烈阳去敍加;为了格拉森被鬼附的人,飘湖过浪,几乎灭顶;现在又为了一个外邦小女孩,带着门徒长途跋涉到推罗西顿,我逐渐明白何谓耦选,明白每一个人的得救都不是偶然。当主耶稣来找我们时,祂都是一对一的,在呼唤。然后由点而面,借着一个人的得救使更多人认识祂,从而决定自己要不要这份救恩。

推罗和西顿都是旧约和新约里有名的城巿,尤其在旧约里更记载了她们辉煌的历史。现在这两地都在黎巴嫩的国境内,但是你可能不知道,原来这两地都曾经是神赐给以色列人的地方。

西顿,今天叫赛达(Saida,阿拉伯语意为“钓鱼”)。从前西顿是以挪亚的曾孙,迦南的长子命名(创10:15),并可能是他的后代定居之处。古代迦南的北部边界延伸到西顿(创10:19);后来雅各预言这是西布伦的边界(创49:13);约书亚也认为那是神应许以色列的一部分(书13:6);西顿被包括在亚设地业的北部边界(书19:28)。西布伦和亚设都是雅各的儿子。

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.

耶稣在格拉森

路加福音8:39 「你回家去,传说神为你做了何等大的事。」

实际上,大多数圣经学者认为耶稣从来没有去过格拉森。根据马太,马可,路加三人的描写,有些人会以为耶稣去过格拉森。从考古学家的观点,格拉森在加利利湖的东南方,离开加利利海最南端至少35哩,她是低加波利(十个城)中的一个大城,其范围包括了数十哩外的加利利东岸。

马太写作的对象是犹太人,所以他称那是加大拉人的地方,因为加大拉离加利利南端只有六哩,一提加大拉,大家都知道是指什么地方;而马可和路加写作的对象是外邦人,所以称那个被鬼附的是格拉森人。他们三个都没有说耶稣去格拉森,而说是去了格拉森人的地方,或加大拉人的地方。

1970年考古学家Tzaferis在迦百农东南九哩,靠近加利利湖边,挖掘一间拜占庭教会的时候,在300 码远的地方,发现了一处从未被人挖掘的土丘,就是现在的Tell El- Kursi。Kursi有陡峭坡度的山崖在海旁,也有洞穴与坟墓在山边,四周环境极符合福音书的记载。在加利利湖东岸,只有这里有个山崖,直泻入海。Tzaferis 就在这一带工作,証实了这里就是当年耶稣赶鬼入猪群的地方。

在这之前,耶稣和门徒上了一条船,然后耶稣吩咐渡到湖那边去。途中耶稣睡着了,而湖上开始起暴风,船里满了水,耶稣还在睡觉。终于有一个门徒忍不住来叫醒耶稣:「老师啊,我们都快死了。(夫子!我们丧命啦!)」耶稣不慌不忙地站起来,可能先伸个懒腰,然后斥责狂风大浪,风浪就平静了。门徒又惧怕又稀奇。

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) 

耶稣在叙加(Sychar)

约翰福音4:26 耶稣说:「这和你说话的就是祂(弥赛亚)。」

叙加在哪里?耶稣去过叙加吗?这样说你可能还是想不起来。假如,这是一个在旧约时代称为「示剑」的城巿,座落在以巴路山和基利心山的山脚下,你想起来了吗?或许,再给你一个线索,亚伯拉罕的孙子,就是神为他取名「以色列」的那位,此地有一口井就是以他为名。

然后,在以色列国分裂之后,此地被分到北国以色列的撒玛利亚地区内,成为撒玛利亚的一座城。在北国以色列被亚述灭亡之后,大部份的以色列人被掳到亚述,亚述王又迁了许多外邦人来住此地,如此混杂之后,撒玛利亚人从此失去他们纯正的以色列血统,而被犹太南国的人看轻了。但是耶和华神是否也看轻他们呢?(假如你一看到叙加,就立刻想起这个故事,表示你是一个很注重细节的人,给自己拍拍手鼓励鼓励)

在叙加发生的一件事,很明显地表达了神对他们的爱和怜惜。那是什么事呢?你想起来了吗?在一个炎热的中午,日正当空,没有人会出来打水时,有一个撒玛利亚妇人出来打水了。她根本不想碰到任何人。却没料到,有一个卅来岁的犹太男子,在那里等她,温和地看着她。

他可能不很帅,因为《圣经》上形容他没有佳形美容,他向她要水喝。她很奇怪,这男子一看就知道是犹太人,自以为圣洁的犹太人怎么会不耻下问地向一个撒玛利亚女人要水喝,不怕被沾污了吗?

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.