一起读经 | 马太福音 4:8-17

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马太福音 4:8-11  撒旦退去吧

马太福音4:8 魔鬼又带他上了一座最高的山,将世上的万国与万国的荣华都指给他看,9 对他说:「你若俯伏拜我,我就把这一切都赐给你。」10 耶稣说:「撒但,退去吧!因为经上记着说:当拜主—你的 神,单要事奉他。」11 于是,魔鬼离了耶稣,有天使来伺候他。

当魔鬼提出把世界上的一切都给耶稣的时候,耶稣真的会因为这么廉价的试探而犯罪堕落吗? 魔鬼的意思是“耶稣,如果你俯伏拜我,我就会给你十亿美元”,魔鬼真的只是这个意思吗?魔鬼在这里对耶稣的试探,不只是对财富和荣耀的渴望。上帝派他的儿子进入世界,以通过他在十字架上的痛苦和死亡来救赎世人。我们从他在客西马尼园中的祈祷中知道,这对耶稣是多沉重的负担-与他的父分离并为我们的罪而忍受地狱。

魔鬼在这里用世界上的荣华来试探耶稣,实际上是在说,“你真的要经历所有这些苦难吗?与你将来要面对的一切相比,在旷野中的这四十天简直好极了。你和我做一个交易吧,你俯伏拜我,我将把世界上所有的王国赐给你。换句话说,魔鬼是在向耶稣提供一个更容易的道路。

魔鬼不是以同样的方式诱惑我们吗?当你可以作弊并获得A时,为什么还要努力学习来准备这个考试呢?当你可以以轻松的方式来结束自己的生命,你为什么还要忍受今生的痛苦和难处呢?当你可以轻松地隐藏自己的信仰而又不忍受这个世界的嘲笑时,为什么还要背负十字架?撒但为我们提供了一条更容易的出路,但我们知道他的出路会把我们最终引向何方。

耶稣在今天的经文里说,“撒旦退去吧!因为经上记着说…”你曾经在被魔鬼试探的时候使用过这种方法吗?奉耶稣的名命令撒但从你身边退去。然后,藉着神的话语给你力量,以支持你自己的信心。撒但并不是不可打败的。实际上,他已经被击败了!

最后一点是这段经文的最后一句。天使来帮助耶稣。向他敬拜的天使必须帮助他,因为他是如此软弱无助。这提醒我们,耶稣来与撒但战斗,没有使用他神的能力,不是像全能的神一样的战斗,而是隐藏他的神性,按照他的人性-与我们一样来与魔鬼战斗。

面对魔鬼的第三个试探,耶稣再次为我们取得了胜利。

祷告:主耶稣,求你帮助我,使我在面对撒但的时候大胆地说:“不!”当我虚弱,孤独,沮丧和脆弱时,请提醒我,我不仅有你的圣天使来捍卫我,你也将永远和我在一起。阿们

Matthew 4: 8-11:  8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

         Would Jesus really fall for such a cheap temptation?  “Jesus, I will give you a billion dollars if you bow down to me.”  I think there was more to this temptation than just the desire for wealth and glory. God sent his Son into the world to redeem the world through his suffering and death on the cross.  We know from his prayers in the garden of Gethsemane how heavy this weighed on Jesus – the thought of being separated from his Father and enduring hell for our sins. What I think the devil was really saying to Jesus is this.  “Do you really want to go through all this suffering?  These forty days in the wilderness is nothing compared to what lies ahead of you.  I’ll make you a deal.  Bow down and worship me and I will GIVE you all the kingdoms of the world.”  In other words, he was offering Jesus an easy way out. 

         Doesn’t the devil tempt us in the same way?  Why study for that test when you can cheat and get an A?  Why put up with the pain and misery of this life when you can end your life and take the easy way out? Why should you carry your cross when you can just as easily hide your faith and not stand up to the ridicule of this world?  Satan offers us an easy way out, but we know where his way will lead us. 

         “Get away from me Satan! The Bible says…”   Have you ever used that tactic in temptation?  Command Satan in the name of Jesus to leave you alone. Then give yourself the strength of God’s Word to stand behind your conviction.  Satan is not unbeatable. In fact, he has already been defeated! 

         On last note one these verses.  Angels came to help Jesus in his weakness. The angels that bow down to him must help him off the ground, because he is so weak and helpless.   It reminds us that Jesus came to fight Satan, not as almighty God, but according to his human nature – like us. 

         Round three. Score another one for Jesus – and for us.   

  Prayer:  Lord Jesus, give me boldness in the face of Satan and his temptations to say, “No way!”  And when I am weak and alone and depressed and vulnerable, then remind me that I not only have your holy angels to defend me, but that you will always be with me as well.  Amen. 

马太福音4:12-17 你的话语

马太福音4:12 耶稣听见约翰下了监,就退到加利利去;13 后又离开拿撒勒,往迦百农去,就住在那里。那地方靠海,在西布伦和拿弗他利的边界上。14 这是要应验先知以赛亚的话,15 说:

             西布伦地,拿弗他利地,

             就是沿海的路,约旦河外,

             外邦人的加利利地

      16       那坐在黑暗里的百姓看见了大光;

             坐在死荫之地的人有光发现照着他们。

17 从那时候,耶稣就传起道来,说:「天国近了,你们应当悔改!」

在这种处境下,尤其是希律王杀死了施洗约翰之后,耶稣就暂时没有再在耶路撒冷传福音。但是这却实现了旧约圣经关于弥撒亚救主耶稣的另一个预言,这也是耶稣实现的数百个预言之一。他来到加利利开始他的事工,那是一个混乱的地区,里面居住着许多外邦人。在这个地区,商队路线横穿这里通往埃及。耶稣不仅仅是实现了一些旧约的预言,而是他完美地实现了所有预言。

耶稣传讲的是什么样的信息呢?没有什么特别的,和施洗约翰宣讲的信息也一样。这与你每一个周日在教堂里听到的信息相同,就是传讲律法和福音,以及耶稣使我们的救主。远离罪恶,转向耶稣寻求赦免和新生命。在这些传讲的信息中,没有应许说人在世上能获得成功,也无法保证你将过上轻松或没有问题的生活。只有永恒不变的信息,那就是神在基督里面赦免了你的罪孽,赐给了你永恒的生命。这个信息奇妙的地方就在于,圣灵在这个信息中工作,一次一次地改变人们的心灵。

因此,坐在耶稣的脚前,聆听他的话。这是唯一能真正改变我们生命的事。

祷告:主耶稣,永远不要让我对悔改和信仰的信息感到厌倦。我想坐在你的脚前聆听你的话语,藉着你的话语使我的信心增长,使我的心充满盼望,这是只有你的话语才能带给我的。奉你的名祈求。阿们

Matthew 4:12-17:  12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death  a light has dawned.” 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

         Circumstances kept Jesus from preaching around Jerusalem, especially since Herod had killed John the Baptist. But those circumstances only served to fulfill another prophecy, one of hundreds that Jesus fulfilled. He began his ministry in Galilee, which had a reputation of being a rough and tumble area that had lots of Gentiles living in it. It was a place where caravan routes crossed on the way to Egypt. Jesus didn’t just fulfill SOME prophecies.  He fulfilled all of them perfectly. Imagine if you had quarterback win every Superbowl in every year of his career.  That’s humanly possible but highly unlikely. What Jesus did goes way beyond that!  

         And the message that Jesus preached? There wasn’t anything extraordinary about it.  It was the same message that John the Baptist preached. It is the same message you hear Sunday after Sunday in a church which teaches the law and the gospel and Jesus as the Savior. Turn away from your sins and turn to Jesus for forgiveness and a new life.  There is no promise for earthly success in that message. There is no guarantee that you will have an easy or trouble-free life. There is only the timeless message that God in Christ has forgiven your sins and given you eternal life. What makes that message extraordinary is that the Holy Spirit works through that message to change people’s hearts, one at a time. 

So sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to his Word. It’s the only thing that makes a real difference in our lives.  

 Prayer:  Lord Jesus, never let me grow tired of this same message of repentance and faith in you, which comes to me in a thousand different ways through your Word.  I want to sit at your feet. I want you to grow my faith.  I want my heart to be filled with hope that only your Word brings me.  I ask this in your name.  Amen. 

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