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Chinese6/19/2005English
經文:約翰福音十二章
鑰節:「……他們愛人的榮耀過於愛神的榮耀。」(12:43)
提要

        公會是耶路撒冷的統治委員。他們是一群受過高等教育、有錢、有名望的法利賽人,扮演猶太人審判官、統治者的角色,他們的身分等於是大祭司之下的「最高法院」,常常視情況需要作不定期的聚會。本章告訴我們,「官長中卻有好些信他(耶穌)的」。但他們是偷偷的信,因為他們的政治生命是倚賴「人的榮耀」而不是「神的榮耀」。

        耶穌警告這些膽怯的「地下信徒」:「信我的,不是信我,乃是信那差我來的……我到世上來,乃是光,叫凡信我的,不住在黑暗堙C若有人聽見我的話不遵守,我不審判他。我來本不是要審判世界,乃是要拯救世界。棄絕我、不領受我話的人,有審判他的──就是我所講的道在末日要審判他。」(44~48節)尼哥底母和亞利馬太的約瑟都是公會的成員,毫無疑問的,他們也聽見了這些話。

        他們一定有好幾個月的時間不斷自我省察。像今天的基督徒從政人員一樣,他們一定也在內心與自己辯論,甚至或許彼此辯論,是否應公開支持違背他們心意的政黨,以維持自己的席位,進而能慢慢的影響那個組織,或者應冒著喪失權力的危險,公開宣告他們的信念,而失去他們在其中「作光、作鹽」的影響力。

        尼哥底母和約瑟最後終於決定要在政界之外作光、作鹽。他們二人在幾天以後公開的承認被釘十架的基督──充滿愛心的將基督從十架上取下來,用油膏祂的身體,又將祂安葬在約瑟自己家族的墓地。他們失去了地上的權力,但卻得著了天國。

禱告

        噢,上帝求您赦免我們這錯誤的心態:愛慕人榮耀過於愛慕您的稱許。但願藉著聖靈和您話語在我們心堛漱u作,有一天我們能聽見您稱許我們:「做得好」。奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read John 12
Key Verse:“… they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”(John 12:43 )
Overview

        The Sanhedrin was the ruling council of Jerusalem. They were Pharisees of high education, wealth, and reputation who acted as judges, or rulers, over the Jewish people. Under the high priest, they acted as a sort of “Supreme Court”, meeting from time to time as the situation warranted. In this chapter we read, “many even among the rulers believed” in Jesus. But they did so secretly, because their political survival depended upon “the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

        Jesus warned these secret yet timorous believers, “when a man believes in Me, he does not believe in Me only, but in the One who sent Me. I have come into the world as light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness. As for the person who hears My words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not accept My words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day: (vv.44-48 NIV). No doubt, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, both members of the Sanhedrin, were listening.

        These two men must have gone through months of soul-searching. Like Christian politicians of today, they must have debated within themselves, or perhaps even together, as to whether they should outwardly vote with the party against their hearts in order to remain in apposition to influence the system slowly and subtly, or whether they should openly declare their convictions and risk being voted out of power, thus nullifying their “salt and light” influence.

        Nicodemus and Joseph finally decided to be “salt and light” outside of the political arenas. For it was they who, just a few days later, publicly identified with the crucified Christ – lovingly taking Him down from the cross, anointing His body for burial, and laying Him to rest in Joseph’s own family sepulcher. They lost their earthly power, but gained a heavenly kingdom.

Prayer

        O God, forgive us for any attitudes, which love the praises of men more then, Your commendation. By the working of Your Spirit and You r Word in us may we some day hear You say to us, “Well done.”


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