双语灵修 | 马太福音 23:13-15 教会欢迎失丧者

马太福音23:13-15

13“你们这假冒为善的文士和法利赛人有祸了!因为你们正当人前,把天国的门关了,自己不进去,正要进去的人,你们也不容他们进去。(有古卷在此有14“你们这假冒为善的文士和法利赛人有祸了!因为你们侵吞寡妇的家产,假意作很长的祷告,所以要受更重的刑罚。”)15“你们这假冒为善的文士和法利赛人有祸了!因为你们走遍洋海陆地,勾引一个人入教,既入了教,却使他作地狱之子,比你们还加倍。

为什么耶稣如此强烈的反对法利赛人?今天这些经文给了我们答案。因为他们一直在致力于把人领向地狱。他们通过两种方式来做那样的事:首先,他们看不起那些不如他们“公义”的人;想象一下那些税吏和娼妓,法利赛人是不会和他们有半点关系的。法利赛人还批评耶稣和他们做朋友。如果你认为这些法利赛人就是犹太教信仰的最佳代表,那你还愿意和犹太教扯上关系吗?

其次,法利赛人其实是非信徒,他们相信只有靠着自己和自己的公义才能得救。所以当他们使别人发生转变,和他们有一样的思考方式,他们根本不是在救人。恰恰相反,他们使别人成为地狱之子。怪不得耶稣对他们说出如此强烈的言语。

我曾经在纽约听一位牧师讲过一篇道,他曾辅导过一位年轻的妇女,她曾经沉溺于毒品并且因此成了妓女。牧师辅导她,希望她加入一间教会,这样她周围就有人会和她一起团契,一起支持她。“我为什么要这样做呢?”她说道,“那样的话会让我感觉更糟。”原来她认为教会是一个会让她受到审判的地方。

当我听到这个故事,我必须问自己一个问题,“那些像税吏和娼妓一样的人会这样看待我和我的教会吗?”我们是否给人造成这样一种氛围,“在这里只有义人才受欢迎?”我向神祷告不要让我变成这样,我向神祷告让我确信,我只是一个罪人,向其他罪人伸出援助之手,分享我在耶稣里的盼望。

祷告:主耶稣啊,我向你祷告,绝不让我成为福音的障碍,不让别人觉得在你的教会只有义人才受欢迎!求你赐我一颗关心失丧者的心,一颗像你那样的心,不害怕成为税吏和娼妓的朋友。我如此祈求是奉你的名,阿们。

Matthew 23:13-14: 13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. [14] 15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

        Why did Jesus come down so strong against the Pharisees? These verses give us the answer. They were working hard to make converts for hell. They did this in two ways. First, they looked down on others who weren’t as “righteous” as they were. Imagine being a tax collector or prostitute. They would have nothing to do with them. They criticized Jesus for making friends of them.  If you thought that the Pharisees represented the best of the Jewish faith, would you want anything to do with it?

Second, the Pharisees were unbelievers who believed only in themselves and in their own righteousness to be saved. So when they converted people to their way of thinking, they really weren’t saving them at all. Just the opposite, they made them children of hell as well. No wonder Jesus had such strong words for them.

I heard a sermon by a pastor in New York who was counseling with a young woman who was deep into drugs and as a result had become a prostitute as well. He counseled her to join a church so that she would have a community of people around her to support her. “Why would I ever want to do that?” she said. “I feel bad enough the way it is.” She saw the church only as a place where she would be condemned.

When I heard that story, I had to ask myself, “Is that how people like the tax collectors and prostitutes would see me and my church?” Do we give off vibes that say, “Only the righteous are welcome here?”  I pray that it is not so. I pray that I believe that I am just one sinner reaching out to other sinners to know the hope that I have in Jesus.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, I pray that  I will never get in the way of the gospel by making people think that your Church is only a place for the righteous! Give me a heart for the lost, a heart like you have, which was not afraid to become friends with tax collectors and sinners. I ask this in your name. Amen. 

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