《從大齌節期反思!Reflection in Lent》

因為我餓了,你們給我吃。 ~馬太福音 25:35

耶穌也是會餓的!

耶穌在曠野禁食,四十天的得勝後,其實他餓了,當像我們一樣地餓了,身體、心理、靈性上都達到了臨界點,必須重新補足才能活下去。不知道是餓的發昏產生幻影,還是真的有一個看的見的形體出現在耶穌的面前並且和他對話,不只是對話,問的問題都是人的生命過程中的大挑戰,他不只是神子,也是人子,有神的眼界與能力,也有人的脾氣與軟弱。

對於這樣一個特別的彌賽亞,若不花點心思還真的無法了解耶穌,我們怎麼知道耶穌在想什麼?是人的思考還是神的眼界?我們怎麼知道耶穌要我們做什麼?是基於神的權柄還是面對人的軟弱?一個朝夕相處的枕邊人我們都會抱怨說「你不講我怎麼會知道了?」何況耶穌常常講了一些我們聽不懂的話。這就更難明白這個是神、是人的耶穌,現在是講神話還是講人話了。這也就是為什麼耶穌的教導常常是用比喻的原因了。

然而除了用講的以外,其實耶穌最常使用的方式是「你看我怎麼做,你學著做」,耶穌沒有要我們成為一個理學家、辯論家,耶穌想要我們成為實踐家,凡是要成為耶穌的信徒的,重點不是你能講什麼,而是你願意做什麼,這個差別讓保羅從滿腹經綸的法利賽人,變成信仰的實踐家,不只是用講的,更是身體力行,親力為之。也讓耶穌的門徒們,不論何種出身,就是跟著老師的樣式「照著做」就對了。耶穌憐憫人,你就憐憫人;耶穌醫治人,就用他給的權柄醫治人;耶穌給人吃飽,你就讓飢渴的人得飽足;我們常常禱告說:「願你的國降臨,在地上如同在天上」那就學習如耶穌一樣背起自己的十字架跟從耶穌。

我們需要做的不是求賞賜,也不是求福氣,我們真正需要做的是「上帝啊!你給了我耶穌這一個好榜樣,那我需要做的到底是什麼?」這個需要做的不會是我們喜歡的,也不是我們熟悉的,我們所需要做的事是我們不喜歡的,是害怕的,甚至曾經是我們心中一個放不下的,因為是十字架,是從受苦中得著榮耀,是從悔改付出代價後重新成為耶穌的跟隨者而不是一個粉絲。

三月份進入大齌期時,該是我們與耶穌一同在曠野禁食的時候了,如果我們想要承受上帝國,就需要問自己說「耶穌在那裡?耶穌餓的時候我們是否有給耶穌吃?我們是否背起了自己的十字架來跟從耶穌?」不是當一個道德理論家,而是當一個信仰實踐家!


For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. ~Matthew 25:35

Jesus can be hungry, too.

Jesus fasted in the wilderness. After forty days of victory, he was hungry. When Jesus was hungry like us and reached the critical point physically, mentally and spiritually, he had to deal with this feeling of hunger to survive. We don’t know whether it’s hunger or dizziness that produced an illusion or if there is a visible figure in front of Jesus that talked with him. It was not just a dialogue but questions that are significant challenges in the process of human life. He is not only the son of God but also human. He has God’s vision and power but the temper and weakness of man.

We don’t fully understand Jesus without spending some thoughts and efforts for the Messiah. How do we know what Jesus was thinking? Was it human thoughts or divine vision? Is it based on the power of God or in the face of human weakness? We might complain to our partner, who we spend day and night with, “how can I know if you didn’t tell me?” Besides, Jesus often said something we couldn’t understand, which makes it even more challenging to know whether this Jesus, who is God and man, is now speaking in words of God or man. That is why Jesus taught so often in parables.

However, in addition to his words, the way Jesus taught most often was, “You see how I do it, and you learn to do it.” Jesus didn’t want us to be philosophers or debaters but practitioners. To become a follower of Jesus, it doesn’t matter what you can talk about, but what you are willing to do. This difference made Paul a Pharisee full of knowledge to a practitioner of faith, who does not just talk, but do and get their hands dirty. Jesus’ disciples followed the teacher’s pattern and “did it.” Regardless of their origins or families. Jesus has mercy, so you have mercy; Jesus heals, and He heals with authority, He gives; Jesus feeds, and you feed the hungry; we always pray, “Thy kingdom come, on earth as in heaven.” Let’s learn to take up your cross and follow Jesus just as he did.

What we need to do is not to ask for rewards or good luck. We need to ask God what we need to do now that He has given us an excellent example of Jesus. It may not be something we like or familiar with, but something we don’t like or are afraid of, or even something we couldn’t let go of because it is a cross, a glory from suffering. We are followers of Jesus after repentance and paying the price, not His fans.

When we enter the Great Lent in March, it is time for us to starve in the wilderness with Jesus. If we want to inherit the kingdom of God, we need to ask ourselves, “Where is Jesus? Did we feed Jesus when Jesus was hungry? Have we taken up our cross and followed Jesus?” Not as a moral theorist but as a practitioner of faith.