双语灵修 | 马太福音 23:27-32 摘下我们的面具

马太福音23:27-32 摘下我们的面具

27“你们这假冒为善的文士和法利赛人有祸了!因为你们好像粉饰的坟墓,外面好看,里面却装满了死人的骨头和一切的污秽。28你们也是如此,在人前、外面显出公义来,里面却装满了假善和不法的事。29“你们这假冒为善的文士和法利赛人有祸了!因为你们建造先知的坟,修饰义人的墓,说:30‘若是我们在我们祖宗的时候,必不和他们同流先知的血。’31这就是你们自己证明是杀害先知者的子孙了。32你们去充满你们祖宗的恶贯吧!

我们知道,假冒为善的人实际上并不是他装出来的那个样子。“假冒为善”这个希腊语的词来自于面具这个词,也就是舞台上演员用来遮盖自己脸的面具,面具赋予了他表演角色的特征。在面具之下,他们完全是不同的人。法利赛人就像好看的坟墓——外面粉饰的很好,里面却装满了死人骨头。他们为自己是遵守律法的人而感到骄傲,可是他们内心和别人一样邪恶,甚至比别人更邪恶。他们声称自己爱先知,可是他们却恨施洗约翰,甚至恨耶稣这位超越一切先知的。我也可以举出今天的很多例子,来说明今天的人也像法利赛人一样,会说同样的自以为义的话,但是我要先问我自己这个问题,“我里面的假冒伪善又在哪里呢?”

没人喜欢摘下他们的面具,我知道和真实的我比起来,我假装是一个更好的基督徒。我曾经参加过一次匿名戒酒聚会,这次聚会对客人和访问者都是开放的,一般情况下并不是这样,所以这次是匿名。给我印象最深的是,在聚会中人们非常开放的谈论自己面临的问题,这些问题都是他们酗酒所导致的。他们摘下面具,互相倾诉他们心内真实的自己。他们信任彼此不会把他们坦承的隐私拿到外面去说,他们信任彼此之间不会互相论断。我当时对自己说,“真希望我们在教会查经班和小组聚会上也能这样。”

我们确实应该这样。我们应该在坦承自己罪的时候彼此信任,我们应该相信,大家都会把这些认罪作为秘密来保守。最重要的是,我们应该相信,我们在基督里的弟兄姐妹会提醒我们,在耶稣里我们已经拥有了罪的赦免和平安。但是要做到这一点,我们首先必须摘下我们的面具。

祷告:主耶稣啊,在你面前我无法戴着面具,因为你知道我的一切,好的、坏的、丑陋的。我自由的向你承认我的罪,因为我知道你只会带给我你的怜悯,而不是按我罪所应得的来对待我。求你教导我,使我相信我在基督里的弟兄姐妹们也是怜悯的,让我也以怜悯回应他们。我如此祈求是奉你的名,阿们。

Matthew 23:23-26: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. 29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!

        Remember that a hypocrite is not what he pretends to be. The Greek word comes from the masks that hid the faces of actors on the stage and gave them their character. Behind the mask, they were altogether different.  Pharisees were like beautiful tombs – whitewashed on the outside and full of dead bones on the inside. They prided themselves on being people of the law, but on the inside they were just as wicked or more than anyone else. They claimed to love the prophets and yet hated John the Baptist, and even Jesus, who was more than a prophet. I could cite examples of people today who push the same kind of self-righteous message as the Pharisees did, but I would rather ask myself the question, “Where is the hypocrisy in me?”

         No one likes to take of their mask.  I know that I pretend to be a better Christian than I am. I attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting once. It was open to guests and visitors, which is not usually the case. That’s why it is Anonymous.  What impressed me most about the meeting was how openly the people there spoke of the problems they faced in their lives as a result of their drinking. They took off their masks and they told each other what they were really like on the inside. They trusted in each other not to speak of their confessions outside the group, and they trusted in each other not to pass judgment on each other. I remember thinking to myself, “I wish we could be more like that in our Bible classes and small group meetings at church.”

         We should be.  We should trust each other with our confessions. We should trust that we will keep those confessions in confidence. Most of all, we should trust that our brothers and sisters in Christ will respond by reminding us of the forgiveness and peace we have in Jesus.  But to do that, we first have to take off our masks.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, i cannot wear a mask before you, because you know me altogether, the good, the bad and the ugly. I freely confess my sins to you, because I know that you will only bring me your mercy and not treat me as my sins deserve.  Teach me to trust my brothers and sisters in Christ to be merciful as well, and to show them mercy in return.  I ask this in your name. Amen. 

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