cbmc中華民國總會 -- 週一嗎哪:熱情對待弟兄中「一個最小的」(2018/12/10)
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週一嗎哪:熱情對待弟兄中「一個最小的」(2018/12/10)    首頁 > 最新內容

 

                 週一嗎哪 

服事全球工商界

2018-12-10

  By Austin Pryor

 

熱情對待弟兄中「一個最小的」

COMPASSION FOR ‘THE LEAST OF THESE’

 

聖誕節就快到了,教會和基督教慈善機構都鼓勵我們對窮人抱有慈善和奉獻的精神。這很好。但是,我建議我們應該小心謹慎,同情心不應該太廣泛,也不能太狹隘。

 

何謂太廣泛?很多基督徒引用馬太福音25章中耶穌所說的比喻,作為勸教會照顧社會被壓迫者的基礎。然而,我們讀到了37節的上下文(強調補充):「義人就回答說:『主啊,我們甚麼時候見你餓了,給你吃,渴了,給你喝? 甚麼時候見你作客旅,留你住,或是赤身露體,給你穿?又甚麼時候見你病了,或是在監堙A來看你呢?』王要回答說:『我實在告訴你們,這些事你們既做在我這弟兄中一個最小的身上,就是做在我身上了。』」

 

這個比喻中「弟兄」如果解釋為世界上所有的窮人,無論是基督徒還是非基督徒,都是不恰當地擴大範圍。在整本新約聖經中,「弟兄」這個詞的主要用法是指基督徒,其次是指同胞猶太人。在任何地方,我都無法找到它曾經常用於指全人類。我們還要考慮到: 

 

•馬太福音中記錄耶穌教導過誰是「兄弟」。有人告訴他說:「看哪,你母親和你弟兄站在外邊,要與你說話。」他卻回答那人說:「誰是我的母親?誰是我的弟兄?」就伸手指著門徒,說:「看哪,我的母親,我的弟兄。凡遵行我天父旨意的人,就是我的弟兄姊妹和母親了。」(馬太福音1247-50

 

使徒保羅對上帝的兒女和耶穌的兄弟也有類似的看法:「因為凡被 神的靈引導的,都是 神的兒子。你們所受的,不是奴僕的心,仍舊害怕;所受的,乃是兒子的心因為他預先所知道的人,就預先定下效法他兒子的模樣,使他兒子在許多弟兄中作長子。」(羅馬書814-29節)

 

有許多經文特別指出,面對選擇時,我們要優先考慮基督徒的需要大於一般社會的需要。「愛弟兄,要彼此親熱;恭敬人,要彼此推讓。聖徒缺乏,要幫補;客,要一味地款待。」(羅馬書1210-13節)。「若是弟兄或是姊妹,赤身露體,又缺了日用的飲食;你們中間有人對他們說:「平平安安地去吧!願你們穿得暖,吃得飽」,卻不給他們身體所需用的,這有甚麼益處呢?這樣,信心若沒有行為就是死的。」(雅各書215-17節)。


難道我們就不用幫助那些和我們信仰不同的窮人嗎?當然不是。事實上,我認為要對他們更有同情心。愛心要有實際的物質需要以及福音信息完美搭配。我們應該為那些不了解耶穌基督的人提供「食物」,為他們地上​​的身體提供「食物」,也應該為他們的靈魂提供「食物」,因為靈魂是永恆的。「耶穌說:「我就是生命的糧。到我這堥茠滿A必定不餓;信我的,永遠不渴。」(約翰福音635節)。


奧斯丁˙普賴爾(Austin Pryor)39年為投資者提供諮詢服務的經驗,他同時也是Sound Mind Investing newsletter and website (健全心靈投資通訊和網站)的創始人。他是健全心靈投資手冊(The Sound Mind)的作者,該手冊受到許多受人敬重的基督教教師認可,銷售量超過10萬份。普賴爾目前與他53歲的妻子蘇西住在肯塔基州的路易斯維爾。

 

 

反省與問題討論


第一、聖誕季節是否會提醒你對周圍的人更加體貼,包括對世界各地或是有極大需求的人?如果是,你通常會如何回應這些需求?

第二、你怎麼看待作者所說的,在回應慈善捐贈的要求時,我們不應該過於廣泛或狹隘?你覺得在實際操作上應該是怎樣的情況?

 

第三、當你讀到聖經中所說的「弟兄姐妹」時,你如何理解它的含義?

第四、你認為供應那些還不認識耶穌的人物質的需要,也同時告訴他們福音是很重要的嗎?你認同這種方法嗎?

  

 

 

備註:如果你手上有聖經,希望閱讀更多有關這個主題的信息,請參考下面的經文:

箴言327-28

3:27 你手若有行善的力量,不可推辭,就當向那應得的人施行。

3:28 你那堶Y有現成的,不可對鄰舍說:去吧,明天再來,我必給你。

箴言1124-25

11:24 有施散的,卻更增添;有吝惜過度的,反致窮乏。

11:25 好施捨的,必得豐裕;滋潤人的,必得滋潤。

約翰福音410-13

4:10 耶穌回答說:「你若知道 神的恩賜,和對你說『給我水喝』的是誰,你必早求他,他也必早給了你活水。」

4:11 婦人說:「先生,沒有打水的器具,井又深,你從哪堭o活水呢?

4:12 我們的祖宗雅各將這井留給我們,他自己和兒子並牲畜也都喝這井堛漱禲A難道你比他還大嗎?」  

4:13 耶穌回答說:「凡喝這水的還要再渴;

哥林多後書96-14

9:6 「少種的少收,多種的多收」,這話是真的。

9:7 各人要隨本心所酌定的,不要作難,不要勉強,因為捐得樂意的人是 神所喜愛的。

9:8 神能將各樣的恩惠多多地加給你們,使你們凡事常常充足,能多行各樣善事。

9:9 如經上所記:他施捨錢財,賙濟貧窮;他的仁義存到永遠。

9:10 那賜種給撒種的,賜糧給人吃的,必多多加給你們種地的種子,又增添你們仁義的果子;

9:11 叫你們凡事富足,可以多多施捨,就藉著我們使感謝歸於 神。

9:12 因為辦這供給的事,不但補聖徒的缺乏,而且叫許多人越發感謝 神。

9:13 他們從這供給的事上得了憑據,知道你們承認基督順服他的福音,多多地捐錢給他們和眾人,便將榮耀歸與 神。

9:14 他們也因 神極大的恩賜顯在你們心堙A就切切地想念你們,為你們祈禱。

希伯來書210-11

2:10 原來那為萬物所屬、為萬物所本的,要領許多的兒子進榮耀堨h,使救他們的元帥,因受苦難得以完全,本是合宜的。

2:11 因那使人成聖的和那些得以成聖的,都是出於一。所以,他稱他們為弟兄也不以為恥,

 

 

 

 

 

                                   MONDAY MANNA

December 10, 2018

 

COMPASSION FOR ‘THE LEAST OF THESE’

 

By Austin Pryor

 

With Christmas fast approaching, churches and Christian relief organizations are encouraging us to have a charitable and giving spirit toward the poor. This is good. But may I suggest that care should be taken so the breadth of our compassion is neither too broad on the one hand nor too narrow on the other?

 

How can it be too broad? Many Christians use Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25 as the basis for exhorting the church to care for society’s downtrodden. Yet, picking up the text in verse 37, we read (emphasis added): “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”

 

Interpreting this parable to refer to all of the world’s poor, both Christians and non-Christians alike, is to inappropriately broaden it far beyond its scope. Throughout the New Testament, the primary usage of the word “brothers” is in reference to Christians. The secondary use is to refer to fellow Jews. Nowhere can I find it ever used to refer to humankind in general. Also consider:

 

·        Matthew had earlier taught who the “brothers” of Jesus were. “‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.’ He replied to him, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother’” (Matthew 12:47-50).
 

·        The apostle Paul had a similar view about God’s children and Jesus’ brothers: “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship…. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:14-29).
 

·        There are many verses that specifically tell us to give highest priority to the needs of believers in Christ versus those of society in general. Among others, they include: “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…. Share with God’s people who are in need” (Romans 12:10-13). “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:15-17).
 

Am I saying that we are not to assist the poor who do not share our faith? Of course not. In fact, I would argue for demonstrating greater compassion for them, not less. However, while our benevolence should include material needs, it should lovingly be paired with the gospel message. Should we not provide people who don’t know Jesus Christ with food for their souls, which are eternal, as well as for their earthly bodies which are, after all, only temporal?

Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry…. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever’” (John 6:35).

 

Austin Pryor has 39 years of experience advising investors, and is the founder of Sound Mind Investing newsletter and website. He's the author of The Sound Mind Investing Handbook, which enjoys the endorsements of respected Christian teachers with more than 100,000 copies sold. Pryor lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with Susie, his wife of 53 years.

 

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Reflection/Discussion Questions

 

1.       Does the Christmas season cause you to be more considerate of the needs of those around you – and around the world – who have significant needs? If so, how do you typically respond to those needs?

 

 

 

 

2.       What do you think of Mr. Pryor’s admonition that in responding to requests for charitable giving, that we should give neither too broadly or narrowly? How do you think that would look like in a practical sense? 

 

 

 

 

3.       When you read terms in the Bible such as “brother and sister,” how do you interpret what they mean?

 

 

 

 

4.    Why do you think it is important to respond to people outside the family of God with the Good News of Jesus Christ, as well as seeking to address their physical needs? Do you agree with taking that approach?

 

 

 

 

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages:

 

Proverbs 3:27-28, 11:24-25, John 4:10-13; 2 Corinthians 9:6-14; Hebrews 2:10-11

 

 

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