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Chinese12/4/2006English
經文:撒迦利亞書第十一、十二章
鑰節:「……他們必仰望我,就是他們所扎的。」(12:10)
提要

        十一章的預言,說到以色列歷史上最黑暗的時刻--耶穌,這位上帝所應許的彌賽亞被人拒絕。那時,上帝不會憐憫他們,反倒將他們交在羅馬人手中(主後70年,11:1~3、6),成了「將宰的群羊」被迫害和追殺。不只如此,那些外國的「買主」虐待他們,他們自己的首領(「牧養他們的」)也不憐恤他們的苦況(11:5;參可12:38~40)。這些首領憎恨耶穌,所以耶穌責備他們有罪並誤導百姓,將速招致毀滅。所謂的「三個牧人」是指「祭司長」、「長老」和「文士」(11:8;參太26:3~4;或22:15、16、23)。在他們拒絕耶穌之後,這個土地要因那些更壞的牧人而被破壞殆盡(11:5~17)。有些人認為,這是指那敵基督者的出現(參但11:36~39;帖後2:1-12;啟13:11~18)。

        撒迦利亞說到那要來的好牧人耶穌,要特別關注羊群中的貧困者,因為那群羊當中必有些要接受祂。撒迦利亞用兩根牧杖來作比方:一根要管教群羊叫做「榮美」或「恩典」;一根要幫助聚集群羊,叫做「聯索」或「束縛」(代表「合一」11:7)。當這個國家憎恨又拒絕耶穌時,祂折斷了這些牧杖,表示祂要廢棄保護以色列的約。上帝要任憑列國隨意處置他們(耶路撒冷在主後七十年又被毀),導致猶太人被驅散在世界各地(合一之杖被折斷)。那時,「困苦羊」--耶穌的跟隨者,就要知道這災難的來臨應驗了這段預言(11:11)。

        這個國家如何輕蔑耶穌和祂的事奉,從他們付的三十塊錢--買一個受傷奴隸的低價就可看得出來(參出21:32)。這段預言極驚人地應驗在賣耶穌的猶大身上,他把耶穌交付給那些壞牧人時所得的工錢就是這麼多。後來猶大也真的把這些錢丟在殿裡,這筆錢被交給了「窯匠」,去為他買了一塊田(11:12~13;太26:14~15;27:3~7)。

        十二章告訴我們,將有一段動亂的時期,要使信徒的生活極艱困。「猶大的帳棚」(12:7)可以指那些相信主的外邦人,他們已融為屬靈的以色列人,「耶路撒冷」則代表相信耶穌的猶太人,不是指地理上的位置。那些邪惡的邦國要來傷害這些上帝眼中的瞳人,公然蔑視上帝,所以他們要喝上帝忿怒之杯而醉倒,並要被壓迫而毀滅(12:2~3;參太21:44)。很明顯的,上帝自幾要起來打這場仗,祂要率領祂的百姓,以聖靈的能力充滿他們,使他們攻無不克,無堅不摧。

        「大衛家」代表所有相信耶穌基督的,他們因受逼迫而要被潔淨,又要被聖靈充滿像耶穌一樣,他們就要像耶穌公開服事時那樣的有權柄(12:8)。聖靈的澆灌要給人恩典,耶穌再來前他們要在試煉中學會:「我的恩典夠你用」的真實意義(林後12:9~10)。他們還要得著「懇求的靈」(12:10上),藉著祈禱呼求上帝參與。耶穌會因他們的緣故,縮短那些苦難的日子(太24:22)。

        當耶穌回來時,全世界都要看見祂,並確知祂是上帝的兒子,那位被他們所釘、所拒絕的彌賽亞。人到那時才悔改已太遲了。所以到處都有人悲哀--不只那些拒絕祂的猶太人,凡是不相信耶穌基督的任何人,都要群聚悲哀(參太24:30;啟1:7)。新約說救恩是憑信得著,不是憑眼見,凡在耶穌第二次再來前,不接受相信祂的人都要沉淪。撒迦利亞這段話,在耶穌被釘在十字架上時果然應驗,那時扎祂的人要仰望祂(約19:37)。當耶穌被殺害時,信祂的人的確極度地悲傷(參可16:10),一直到祂從死裡復活,他們才知道祂告訴他們的話都發生過了(參路24:6~8)。然後,耶穌才安慰他們,告訴他們要喜樂(參太28:9)。許多在耶路撒冷看到耶穌被釘十字架的人,在五旬節時聽到彼得講道,才覺得悲傷和扎心,因為當耶穌在他們當中時,他們竟然拒絕了祂(徒2:37)。

禱告

        主耶穌,我們願俯伏承認您是我們的救主。為您的被釘我們感謝您。願我們的生活,能不停地傳揚您為人類所預備的偉大計劃。奉主耶穌基督的名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Zechariah 11&12
Key Verse:"... they will look on Me whom they have pierced..."(Zechariah 12:10)
Overview

        Chapter 11 prophesies of the darkest period of Israel's history - when Jesus, their promised Messiah, would be rejected. As a result, God would no longer pity them but would give them up to suffer defeat at the hands of the Romans (70 A.D.; 11:1-3, 6). They are called "the flock for slaughter", because of the persecution and killing they as a nation had experienced, and the worst was yet to come. Not only did foreign oppressors ("their owners") abuse them, but their own leaders ("shepherds") had no pity for their plight (11:5; cf. Mk. 12:38-40). These leaders hated Jesus, and He rebuked them for their sin and for leading the people astray, for which they would quickly be destroyed. These "three shepherds" may refer to the chief priests, elders, and scribes (11:8; cf. Mt. 26:3-4 or 22:15, 16, 23). After Jesus' rejection, the land would be plagued by more worthless shepherds (11:15-17). Some see these verses as referring to the Antichrist (cf. Dan. 11:36-39; 2 Thes. 2:1-12; Rev. 13:11-18).

        The prophet Zechariah speaks representatively for the Messiah, the coming Good Shepherd. Even though the flock was destined for slaughter, Jesus graciously came and fed them, but His particular attention was given to the poor of the flock (the meek or humble), from whom would come the remnant who would receive Him. Zechariah may have illustrated his message by holding in his hands the two different kinds of shepherd's staffs: one for warding off wild animals (called "beauty" or "grace"), and one for aiding the sheep and keeping them together (called "bond" or "binders", signifying "unity"; 11:7). When the nation hated and rejected Jesus, He symbolically broke these staffs, for He would break His covenant with other nations — a covenant that had once ensured Israel's protection. God would now allow the enemies to do with them as they pleased (the destruction of Jerusalem; 70 A.D.), which would result in Israel's scattering throughout the world (the broken staff of unity). At that time, the "poor of the flock", the followers of Jesus, would know these calamities had come in fulfillment of this prophecy (11:11).

        The contempt that the nation had for Jesus and His ministry among them is illustrated by the price they paid, which was a mere thirty pieces of silver, the price of a wounded slave (cf. Ex. 21:32). What an amazing fulfillment of prophecy it was for Judas to have been given that very amount for turning Jesus over to the "bad shepherds". Judas later threw the silver into the Temple, which was then handed over to a "potter" to buy his field (11:12-13; Mt. 26:14-15; 27:3-7).

        The tribulation period will be especially difficult for believers, as chapter twelve seems to indicate. The "tents of Judah" (12:7) may refer to Gentile believers who have been grafted into the true spiritual Israel, and "Jerusalem" may represent Jewish believers in Jesus, for as the New Testament makes clear, it is people that the Lord is interested in, not geographical locations. When the wicked nations gather to wage war (cf. Mt. 24:9), they are actually defying God by trying to harm the apple (pupil) of His eye, His people. Such an offence will ultimately lead to the enemies' destruction by being made to drink the cup of God's wrath and being crushed by the very thing they wanted to crush (12:2-3; cf. Matt. 21:44). It will be clear to all that the Lord Himself was fighting the battle. He will go before the saints and empower them by His Spirit, so that they will be invincible.

        The "house of David" may represent all believers in Jesus Christ. At that time, after being purified through persecution, they will be so full of the Holy Spirit and so much like Jesus (the "Angel of the Lord"), that they will have the same authority as He did during His public ministry (12:8). The Holy Spirit's outpouring will also give them grace, for during the trying times before Jesus' return, they will learn the true meaning of: "My grace is sufficent for you" (2 Cor. 12:9-10). They will also be given to supplication (12:10a), which is fervent prayer for the Lord's intervention. Jesus will hear the pleas of the elect, and for their sake He will shorten those days by coming for them (Matt. 24:22).

        When Jesus returns, the whole world will see Him and know for sure that He is the Son of God, the Messiah whom they pierced by rejecting Him. By that time, however, it will be too late for repentance. Therefore, there will be much mourning, not only by the Jews who had rejected Him, but by every person who did not believe in Jesus while the door of God's grace was open (cf. Matt. 24:30; Rev. 1:7). The Holy Spirit inspired New Testament writers to proclaim that salvation is by faith and not by sight, and all who have not turned with faith to Jesus before His appearance at the time of His second coming will be lost. Although Zechariah's prophecy here may have a double implication, we learn from the apostle John that it was fulfilled at the time of Jesus' crucifixion, when they "look[ed] on Him whom they pierced" (John 19:37). Indeed, the believers in Jesus at that time were extremely sorrowful and full of much grief (cf. Mark 16:10). It was only after Jesus' resurrection that they came to understand the things He had told them would come to pass (cf. Luke 24:6-8), and then Jesus comforted them and told them to rejoice (cf. Matt. 28:9). Many other people of Jerusalem, who had seen Jesus crucified, heard Peter's sermon on the Day of Pentecost, and they began to mourn, being "cut to the heart", because while Jesus was among them, they had rejected Him (Acts 2:37).

Prayer

        Lord Jesus, we voluntarily bow before You as our lord and Saviour. Thank You that You were pierced for us. May our lives speak constantly of Your great plan for the human family.


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