一起读经 | 马太福音21:23-27 祭司长不服耶稣的权柄

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马太福音21:23-27

23耶稣进了殿,正教训人的时候,祭司长和民间的长老来问他说:“你仗着什么权柄作这些事?给你这权柄的是谁呢?”24耶稣回答说:“我也要问你们一句话,你们若告诉我,我就告诉你们我仗着什么权柄作这些事。25约翰的洗礼是从哪里来的?是从天上来的?是从人间来的呢?”他们彼此商议说:“我们若说‘从天上来’,他必对我们说,‘这样,你们为什么不信他呢?’26若说‘从人间来’,我们又怕百姓,因为他们都以约翰为先知。”27于是回答耶稣说:“我们不知道。”耶稣说:“我也不告诉你们我仗着什么权柄作这些事。”

有些问题无法用简单的答案来回答,犹太人的领袖想知道是谁给耶稣行神迹的权柄。耶稣知道他们并不是因为相信才问这个问题,他们是因为不信才问的,这样他们就可以得到更多的审判耶稣的证据。所以耶稣反过来问了他们一个相似的问题,是谁给了施洗约翰给人施洗的权柄?这权柄是从神来的呢,还是施洗约翰自己的?犹太的领袖拒绝回答这问题,因为他们知道百姓相信约翰是一位先知;但是如果他们承认约翰的权柄是从天上来的,那么耶稣就会说,“那你们应当相信约翰指着我所说的事。”所以他们拒绝回答他的问题,耶稣也拒绝回答他们的问题。

有时候你会陷入一些不愉快的讨论甚至争论中,有些人想借此机会破坏你基督徒的信心。他们并不是想学习真理,他们只是想破坏你对所相信之事的信心。通常情况下你可以察觉到这种情形,这时你不必回答他们抛向你的每一个问题。停下来休息一下,求耶稣给你恰当的答案,去回应他们提出的问题。然后脸上露出笑容,为真理做一个简单的见证。你可以这样说,“咱们讨论的底线,耶稣是不是神的儿子?我相信他是,因为圣经指引我,使我相信。他满足了所有关于他的应许,他为我的罪而死然后又从死里复活,这个事实已经在圣经里记载下来。如果我们无法就这个底线达成一致的话,那么我就不愿讨论细节了。但是如果你想更多的了解耶稣,我很高兴教你更多。”

祷告:主耶稣啊,求你赐我智慧,使我准备好回答我心中盼望的缘由;同时也求你指教我,使我避免那空虚无用的辩论和争吵。求你藉着我的话语和行为使你发光,使别人可以看见我在你里面的盼望。阿们。

Matthew 21:23-27: 23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”  They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

        Some questions cannot be answered with a simple answer. The leaders of the Jews wanted to know who gave Jesus the authority to do miracles. Jesus knew that they were not asking the question in faith, but only in unbelief, so that they might have more evidence for his trial later.  So Jesus asks them a similar question in return. Who gave John the authority to baptize? Did it come from God, or did he invent it by himself? They refused to answer the question because they knew the people believed John was a prophet. If they acknowledged John’s authority from heaven, then Jesus could have said, “Then believe what John said about me.”  So they refused to answer his question, and he refused to answer their question.

         Sometimes you will get into uncomfortable discussions and debates with people who want to undermine your Christian faith.  They are not seeking to learn the truth. They want to undermine your faith in what you believe. You can usually sense when that is the case, and you don’t have to answer every question that has been put to you. Stop and take a breath. Ask Jesus to give you the appropriate response to the question you’ve been asked. Then put a smile on your face and give a simple testimony to the truth.  You can say something like this. “The bottom line is this.  Is Jesus the Son of God or not? I choose to believe that he is because the Bible has led me to believe this. He fulfilled every prophecy ever made about him. The fact that he rose from the dead after he died for my sins is well documented. If we cannot agree on that, I would prefer not to debate the details.  But if you want to know more about Jesus, I’m glad to teach you more.” 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, give me the wisdom to give a reason for the hope that I have in you.  At the same time, teach me to avoid debates and controversies that only end in futile arguments. Most of all, let your light shine in my words and actions so that people may see the hope I have in you. Amen.

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