一起读经 | 马太福音 12:38-50

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马太福音12 

马太福音12: 38-4238当时,有几个文士和法利赛人对耶稣说:“夫子,我们愿意你显个神迹给我们看。”39耶稣回答说:“一个邪恶、淫乱的世代求看神迹,除了先知约拿的神迹以外,再没有神迹给他们看。40约拿三日三夜在大鱼肚腹中,人子也要这样三日三夜在地里头。41当审判的时候,尼尼微人要起来定这世代的罪,因为尼尼微人听了约拿所传的,就悔改了。看哪,在这里有一人比约拿更大。42当审判的时候,南方的女王要起来定这世代的罪,因为她从地极而来,要听所罗门的智慧话。看哪,在这里有一人比所罗门更大。”

40多年前,我和一名自由派路德神学院的毕业生聊天。我们争论诸如天地创造和神迹到底是不是真的。我和他说:“如果耶稣把自己的复活比喻为约拿从大鱼的肚腹中出来,如果这个说法又只是虚构的话,那我们如何才能确信耶稣复活了呢?”他回答:“我们无法确信。”我被吓坏了。“那我们如何确信我们能得到救恩呢?”我问。他回答:“关于这点我们也无法确信。”我一直怀疑他在复活节主日这天能传讲些什么。

我们所拥有的比约拿和所罗门更大。我们有耶稣,他为我们的罪死了,又为我们的称义复活。这世上没有一个消息的能力大过耶稣从死里复活的消息。我越是认真研究圣经记载的耶稣复活的细节,我越是坚信这些并不是“精心编造的故事”,如同彼得在彼得后书1章16节所说的,“我们从前将我们主耶稣基督的大能和他降临的事告诉你们,并不是随从乖巧捏造的虚言,乃是亲眼见过他的威荣”。这些关于耶稣复活的详细记载,都是那个复活主日所发生事情的目击见证。它确实发生了。耶稣为我们的罪献上挽回祭,这确实发生了。我们自身的复活也将同样发生。他复活了,他的确复活了!

祷告:亲爱的耶稣,我今日祈祷我们传讲的有关复活的消息不该只是一年一度的庆祝,而应该是我们日常生活中的提醒。正如你死而复活,我们每日也与你同死同活,并以此得到生命的更新。我祈求愿不仅相信你的复活,更能活出复活的生命!阿们!

Matthew

Matthew 12: 3842:  38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.

         Over forty years ago, I had a conversation with a graduate from a liberal Lutheran seminary. We argued about things like creation and miracles being real.  I said to him, “If Jesus compared his resurrection from the grave to Jonah’s coming out of the belly of the fish, and that story is just a myth, then how can we be sure Jesus rose from the dead?” And he said, “We can’t.”  I was aghast. “Then how can we be sure we will be saved?” I asked. He said, “We can’t be sure about that either.”  I always wondered what he preached on Easter Sunday!

         We have something greater than Jonah and greater than Solomon.  We have Jesus, who died for our sins and who rose again for our justification. There is no message more powerful than the message of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The more I study the details of the story, the more I am convinced that these were not “cleverly devised stories,” as Peter said in his letter. They were eyewitnesses of what happened on that Easter Sunday.  I really happened. And so did the atonement for our sins really happen.  And so will our own resurrection really happen. He is risen!  He is risen indeed!

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Prayer:  Dear Jesus, my prayer today is that your resurrection message to us yesterday will not be just a yearly celebration, but a daily reminder in our lives. Just as you died and you came alive, so we die with you and rise with you every day in the newness of life. I pray that I will not only believe in your resurrection, but live it! Amen.

马太福音12 

马太福音12: 43-4543“污鬼离了人身,就在无水之地过来过去,寻求安歇之处,却寻不着。

44于是说:‘我要回到我所出来的屋里去。’到了,就看见里面空闲,打扫干净,修饰好了,45

便去另带了七个比自己更恶的鬼来,都进去住在那里。那人末后的景况比先前更不好了。这邪恶的世代也要如此。”

以下是我对这几句经文的理解。你的内心总要装点什么。你的心不可能是一个空的容器。在我们悔改的生命里,如果我们抛弃那些占据我们心思意念的邪恶,就会有其他东西或人取而代之。那个其他的人就是耶稣。如果我们定睛在耶稣身上,我们内心会充满喜乐、平安、良善和仁慈。邪恶就没有立锥之地。

如果没有耶稣,我们会像法利赛人那样变得越来越糟。首先,我们会努力的在行为上去改变自己的生命,而且我们可能真的能够达到这个目的。但是,如果我们没有耶稣,我们很可能像法利赛人那样,认为自己是非常良善和敬虔的人,并认为我们一定会赢得上帝的恩惠。自以为义不比邪恶更好,甚至比邪恶更糟。

这也是为什么我们永远不能离开耶稣。作为上帝的儿女,只有耶稣能给我们“完美的生命。”只有耶稣能让我们成为敬虔的人,而不是自以为义的人。请你记住你的心思意念总要被什么东西占据。今天会有什么来占据你的心思意念呢?

祷告:亲爱的耶稣,你就是我的全部,我的一切。当我的内心充满对你的思念,我就感到知足,平安,满意。请不要让我沉湎于任何其他事物,请不要让我的眼目偏离你。阿们!

Matthew

Matthew 12: 43-45:  43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

         Here is how I understand these verses. You have to be filled with something. Your heart will never be an empty vessel. In our life of repentance, if we throw out the evil thing that is occupying our mind and heart, something has to take its place. That something or someone is Jesus. If we focus on Jesus, our heart will be filled with joy and peace and goodness and kindness. Evil won’t have room to set up house.

Without Jesus, we would go from bad to worse, like the Pharisees. First we would work hard to change our lives, and we might actually accomplish that. But then, if we do not have Jesus, we will think that we are very good and godly people, just like the Pharisees, and think that we must certainly have earned God’s favor. Self-righteous is not better than wicked, it is worse than wicked.

That’s why we cannot get enough of Jesus. Only Jesus can give us the “full life” of a child of God. Only Jesus can make us godly people without becoming self-righteous people. Remember that your heart and mind must be filled with something. What will you fill your heart and mind with today?  

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Prayer:  Dear Jesus, You are my all in all, my everything. When my heart is full of thoughts of you, then I am content.  I am at peace. I am fulfilled. Keep me from dwelling on anything that would take my eyes off of your!    Amen.

马太福音12 

马太福音12: 46-5046耶稣还对众人说话的时候,不料,他母亲和他弟兄站在外边,要与他说话。

47有人告诉他说:“看哪,你母亲和你弟兄站在外边,要与你说话。”48他却回答那人说“谁是我的母亲?谁是我的弟兄?”49就伸手指着门徒说:“看哪,我的母亲,我的弟兄。50凡遵行我天父旨意的人,就是我的弟兄、姐妹和母亲了。”

“血浓于水”。也许你听过有人说这样的话。朋友很重要,但血缘关系(亲属关系)更重要。这个说法有一定道理。你的家人通常比朋友更重要。

但是耶稣提醒我们还有一种关系甚至比血缘更重要。这就是我们在信心里的连接,这个信心就是我们相信耶稣是救主。他称我们为他的家人,即,他的兄弟、姐妹和父母。当你陷入紧急状况,需要帮助的时候,你的朋友不一定在你身边,你的家人也不一定会及时出现。但有一位我们可以求助,他永远不会让我们失望,那就是耶稣。

如果要搞清楚耶稣这段话的意思,我们需要明白“遵行我天父旨意”是什么意思。在《约翰福音》6章40节,耶稣告诉我们:“因为我父的意思是叫一切见子而信的人得永生,并且在末日我要叫他复活。”相信耶稣,因为他是你的朋友,他绝不会让你失望。

祷告:亲爱的耶稣,除你以外,在天上我有谁呢?除你以外,在地上我也没有所爱慕的。你永远是我生命的力量和福分!谢谢你做我最亲密的朋友,比我的弟兄更亲密。阿们!

Matthew

Matthew 12: 46-50:  46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

         “Nothing is stronger than blood.”  Maybe you have heard people say that. Friends are important, but nothing is stronger than blood (family).  There is some truth to that statement. Your family is important, and often more important than friends.

But Jesus reminds us of a bond that is even stronger than blood. It’s the bond of faith that we have in Jesus as our Savior. He calls us his family – his brothers and sisters and parents. When you are in desperate need, your friends may not be there for you. Your family may not rise up to help you. But there is one to whom we can turn who will never fail us, and that is Jesus.

Just to make it clear that this is what Jesus meant, we need to understand what it means to do the will of the Father in heaven. Jesus told us in John 6:40. “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”  Trust in Jesus because he is the Friend who will never let you down.

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Prayer:  Dear Jesus, who have I in heaven but you, and earth has nothing that I desire besides you. You are the Strength of my life and my portion forever! Thank you for being my dearest friend, one who is even closer than a brother.  Amen.

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