一起读经 | 马太福音 12:1-21

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马太福音12 

马太福音121-81那时,耶稣在安息日从麦地经过。他的门徒饿了,就掐起麦穗来吃。2法利赛人看见,就对耶稣说:看哪,你的门徒作安息日不可作的事了。”3耶稣对他们说:经上记着大卫和跟从他的人饥饿之时所作的事,你们没有念过吗?4他怎么进了神的殿,吃了陈设饼,这饼不是他和跟从他的人可以吃得,惟独祭司才可以吃。5再者,律法上所记的,当安息日祭司在殿里犯了安息日,还是没有罪,你们没有念过吗?6但我告诉你们:在这里有一人比殿更大。7‘我喜爱怜恤,不喜爱祭祀。你们若明白这话的意思,就不将无罪的当作有罪的了。8因为人子是安息日的主。

在今日的以色列,如果你在安息日乘坐电梯,电梯在每一层都会自动停下;这样 ,守安息日的人就不必在这天被迫操作机器了。几年前,一个犹太母亲恰好在安息日来临前打开了电炉子,因为她打算在安息日这天用这个炉子;但是在安息日是不允许打开电炉子的。她烧毁了自己的房子连同家人。法利赛人对待安息日的态度也一样,强调安息日这天应该遵守的规则。

耶稣教导法利赛人,安息日的重点不在于规则,而在于主耶稣。我们昨天的灵修也讲到安息,这个安息我们是在主耶稣那里找到的罪得赦免。这才是安息日的全部真正含义,而不是要遵守什么样的规则。在安息日不能工作的规定是针对上帝的子民的,这样他们才能有时间在福音里为灵魂找到安息。

耶稣阐述他的论点的方式很特别。他引用经文说明,律法必须基于基督爱的背景之下才能得到阐释。耶稣说,“我喜爱怜恤,不喜爱祭祀。”我们今天的“安息日”的重点在于了解基督和彼此相爱。当我们相聚在一起聆听神的话语并彼此鼓励的时候,我们找到了真正的安息。

祷告:亲爱的耶稣,我的灵魂在你那里、也只有在你那里才能找到安息。让我敬拜你,让我更好地了解你。求你祝福你的子民这周主日的聚会,这样我们的灵魂才能得到安息。阿们!

Matthew 12

Matthew 12: 1-8:  At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful o n the Sabbath.” 3 He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’[a] you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

         In Israel today, if you went on an elevator on the Sabbath Day, you would automatically stop at every floor so that people observing the Sabbath wouldn’t be forced to operate machinery on the Sabbath Day.  A few years ago, a Jewish mother turned on her stove just before the Sabbath began because she wanted to use the oven on the Sabbath, and it was not permitted to “turn on” your oven on the Sabbath. She burned her home down along with her family.  The Pharisees treated the Sabbath in the same way – rules to keep on the day of rest.

         Jesus taught them that the Sabbath was not about rules but about the Savior, Jesus. The word “sabbath” means “rest.”  Our devotion yesterday was about rest, too, rest that we find in Jesus and the forgiveness of sins. That’s what the real Sabbath is all about, not about rules to keep.  The law of not  working on the Sabbath was for God’s people, so that they would take time to find rest for their souls in the gospel.

         It’s interesting how Jesus made his point.  He went to the Scriptures to show that the law must always be interpreted in the context of the law of Christian love. “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,” Jesus said. Today, our “sabbath,” our day of rest, should be all about knowing Christ and loving each other. We find rest when we gather to hear the word and gather with God’s people to encourage one another.

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, my soul finds rest in you and you alone. Let my worship always be about you. Let my purpose be to know you better.  Bless the gatherings of your people during this holy week so that we find rest for our souls.  Amen.

马太福音12 

马太福音12: 9-149耶稣离开那地方,进了一个会堂。10那里有一个人,枯干了一只手。有人问耶稣说:“安息日治病,可以不可以?”意思是要控告他。11耶稣说:“你们中间谁有一只羊,当安息日掉在坑里,不把他抓住拉上来呢?12人比羊何等贵重呢。所以在安息日作善事是可以的。”13于是对那人说:“伸出手来。”他把手一伸,手就复了原,和那只手一样。14法利赛人出去,商议怎样可以除灭耶稣。

犹太宗教领袖竟然密谋杀害耶稣,这真太难以令人想象了!这与他们要完美遵守律法的理念风马牛不相及吧?他们难道不是在欺骗自己,认为自己是“义人”,不需要救主吗?

光是为了安息日,法利赛人就制定了一整套规则。比如,在安息日这天,你离家出行不得多于999步,否则你就是干犯安息日了。你可以做好午饭,把它带到一英里以外某人的家里,然后你可以说这是你临时的家,然后你就可以从那里再走999步。也就是说律法的字面含义实质内涵更重要。

法利赛人忘了律法中最重要的一条,即基督的爱。没有任何一条诫命,也没有任何人为制定的规则能取代基督的爱。可以在安息日给人治病吗?这是傻瓜都能回答的问题。既然你可以在安息日把掉在坑里的羊拉上来,为什么就不能医治有一只枯干手的人呢?

这个故事提醒我们耶稣不仅正确地理解了律法,还作为救主为我们的缘故完美地将律法活了出来。律法是在基督里、也仅仅在基督里为我们成全了。

祷告:亲爱的耶稣,有时候我想方设法努力想理解律法以及律法对我的要求。我并非不了解律法,但是因为我的罪性,我常常容易忽视那些我不喜欢的东西,并忘掉律法最终归结为:首先要爱神,其次要爱人如己。但是我知道你已经替我完美地成全了律法,而且我因为披上你的义袍,就穿戴成圣徒的样子了。请帮助我真心遵守每一条诫命,并从中寻求喜乐。阿们!

Matthew 12

Matthew 12: 9-14:   Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” 11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

         It’s  hard to imagine religious leaders plotting to kill Jesus! How did that fit with their idea of keeping the law perfectly? How had they deceived themselves into thinking that they were the “righteous ones” who didn’t need a Savior? 

The Pharisees had developed an extensive set of rules just for the Sabbath Day.  For example, you couldn’t travel more than 999 steps from your house on the Sabbath or you would be breaking the Sabbath.  Unless you took a lunch and put it in someone’s house a mile away, in which case you could say that was your temporary house, so you could go another 999 steps from there. In other words, the LETTER of the law became more important than INTENT of the law.

The Pharisees forgot the most important law, the law of Christian love. No commandment and certainly no man made rules could supercede the law of Christian love.  Can you heal a man on the Sabbath? That was a no-brainer. You would pull your sheep out of a pit on the Sabbath day. Why wouldn’t you heal a man with a withered arm?

This story reminds us that Jesus not only understood the law properly, but that he lived it perfectly for us as our Savior. For us, the law is fulfilled in Christ and only in Christ.         

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, sometimes I struggle to understand the law and what it requires of me. It’s not that I don’t know it, but because of my sinful nature, it is so easy for me ignore what I don’t like or forget that it boils down to loving God above all things and my neighbor as myself.  But I know that you fulfilled the law for me perfectly and that I am dressed as a saint in your robes of righteousness. Help me to find joy in keeping every commandment from the heart. Amen.

马太福音12 

马太福音12: 15-2115耶稣知道了,就离开那里。有许多人跟着他,他把其中有病的人都治好了,

16又嘱咐他们,不要给他传名。17这是要应验先知以赛亚的话,说:18“看哪,我的仆人,我所拣选、所亲爱、心里所喜悦的,我要将我的灵赐给他,他必将公理传给外邦。19他不争竞,不喧嚷,街上也没有人听见他的声音。20压伤的芦苇他不折断,将残的灯火他不吹灭。等他施行公理,叫公理得胜,21外邦人都要仰望他的名。

先知以赛亚对耶稣的服事描述得非常美。他不是那种“煽动暴民的人”。他其实与法利赛人对他控告完全相反。他不会为任何事争吵。他只是温和清楚地教导真理。总之,这段经文体现出他尽量避免冲突。他去了别的地方。他警告那些听道的人,不要在那个时候给他传名。

我总是能从以赛亚对耶稣的描述中得到慰藉。“压伤的芦苇他不折断,将残的灯火他不吹灭”。你是否曾经感觉你的信心如同将折断的植物般软弱?你是否曾经感觉你的信心正陷入灭绝的危险?我们有一位救主,他能让破碎的心愈合,他能让软弱的人得到坚固。每当你吹灭蜡烛,看到那小小的火花和一缕青烟时,你应该记住这些描写耶稣的话。他不会让你那微弱的信心被吹灭。

我真希望在我服事神子民的过程中,也像好牧人耶稣一样,做一名温和仁慈的牧者。当有人反对或攻击我们时,要做到这点很难。但也恰在此时,一颗温柔的心与温和的态度尤为重要。

祷告:亲爱的耶稣,谢谢你做我温柔的牧者。你在我偏离你的时候对我耐心,在我信心低迷脆弱的时候对我温柔,在我顽固的时候对我不离不弃。求你帮助我能够像你一样,温和服事那些你托付给我的人。阿们!

Matthew 12

Matthew 12: 15-21:  Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. 16 He warned them not to tell others about him. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19 He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory. 21  In his name the nations will put their hope.”

The prophet Isaiah gives such a beautiful description of Jesus’ ministry. He was not a “rabble rouser.” He was the opposite of what the Pharisees claimed he was. He was not one who quarreled about everything. He simply taught the truth in a clear and gentle way. If anything, our text shows that he avoided conflict. He withdrew to a different place. He warned those who listened to him not to tell others about him at this time.

I have always found comfort in the description Isaiah gives to Jesus.  “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” Have you ever felt that your faith was weak, like a broken plant? Have you felt that your faith was in danger of being extinguished? We have a Savior who binds up the broken hearted and strengthens the weak. Everytime you blow out a candle and see that little spark and curl of smoke, you can remember these words about Jesus.  He won’t let your little faith be snuffed out. 

I hope that in my ministry I have ministered to God’s people as a gentle shepherd, like my Good Shepherd. That is hard to do when people oppose us or attack us. But it is times like those when a gentle heart and soft approach is most important.

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, thank you for being my gentle Shepherd.  For being patient with me when I like to wander from your side. For being gentle with me when my faith is weak and fragile. For being persistent when I am being stubborn. Help me to be the same as I minister to those you have placed into my care. Amen.

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