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Chinese2/13/2006English
經文:腓立比書二章
鑰節:「你們當以基督耶穌的心為心……。」(2:5)
提要

        初讀這一段經文,會覺得保羅似乎小題大作。當時腓立比教會中有些小爭執(2:1~4),他確實需要給予一些慈愛的糾正。但他卻在此加入了一段人類著作中最富含神學意義,字句鏗鏘的話。為什麼呢?可能是因為保羅認為,在基督教中,心態的正確是極關重要的。單單正確地思想有關耶穌的事,是不夠的,你還必須與祂有相同的思想。而基督的思想是謙卑、忘我、極富行動力量的。

        要詳細討論這些記載的神學意義,小小的評註是不夠的。我在此只想提出一些觀察。最為要緊的是,第六節談到耶穌在祂尚未道成肉身前的境況:「本有上帝的形像」。或者,依NIV(新國際版譯本),「直接具有上帝的本質」。希臘人的想法,視「形象」有兩層意義:一、樣式或外表,例如影子映在牆上時,模樣奇奇怪怪的;二、表示祂真正是什麼。保羅所想的,乃是後者。他說耶穌在實質上就是上帝──祂有上帝的本質。其次,在第七節,耶穌「使自己一無所有」(NIV本),這句在中文和合本譯為「反倒虛己」。其意義是,祂單方面的限制或倒空了祂自己神聖的特權。只有權力本身能限制自己的權利。以耶穌來說,祂虛己到一個地步,甚至被當成罪犯釘在木頭的十字架上(8節)。祂確實「取了奴僕的形像」(7節)。

        請記住這章的背景。保羅是在腓立比教會,談一些小問題。他向讀者挑戰,要他們除去不和與嫉妒。爭執吵嘴的根本原因是,每個人自己都想成為高階人物,想高昇。所以保羅在本章的重點是:「要超越爭執,努力事奉,不要命令別人」。這便是耶穌的榜樣。要有降卑自己的心態!

禱告

        主上帝啊,幫助我們擺脫細小的爭執、不睦、嫉妒。我們向您降服,並且情願讓基督的心住在我們裡面。使我們更像我們的救主。奉耶穌基督的名禱告,阿們。

English

Scriptures:Read Philippians 2
Key Verse:"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus..."(Philippians 2:5)
Overview

        At first reading in the context, it looks a bit like over-kill. was concerned about petty personal quarrels which were disrupting the Philippian church (2:1-4). He certainly needed to give a fatherly word of correction. Instead, he breaks forth into one of the most eloquent and powerful bursts of theological poetry in all of written work. Why? Maybe because, in Paul's thinking, attitude was vital to Christianity. It wasn't enough just to think correctly about Jesus, you also had to think the way He thought. And Jesus thought in a radical way — He thought in terms of downward mobility. Jesus was disturbingly and refreshingly self-forgetful.

        A discussion of the theological implications of this passage is far beyond the scope of this little commentary. I wish only to make a few brief observations. First of all, verse 6 speaks of Jesus in His pre-incarnate state: "being in the form of God." or, as the NIV translates, "being in very nature God." Greek thought saw "form" in two ways: 1. shape and appearance, as when a shadow takes the form of a monster on a child's bedroom wall; 2. the expression of what really is. Paul is thinking in terms of the latter. He is saying that Jesus was essentially and substantially divine — He shared the divine nature. Secondly, in verse 7, Jesus "made Himself nothing" (NIV), that is, He unilaterally limited or emptied Himself of His divine prerogatives. Only power has the power of self-limitation. In Jesus' case, He limited Himself to the point of death as a human on a wooden cross (v. 8). He became, literally, a "slave" (v. 7).

        Remember the context. Paul is addressing pettiness in the Philippian church. He is challenging his readers to rise above feuds and jealousies. The inference is that a desire for the upper hand, for ascendency, is at the root of these squabbles. Paul is saying, "rise above littleness and strive to serve rather than command." Follow Jesus' example. Be downwardly mobile!

Prayer

        Lord God, help us to rise above all pettiness, feuds, and jealousies. \Me yield to You and deliberately let the mind of Christ be in us. Make us more like our Saviour.


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