Matthew 14 Exhortation July 13 - Bro Hans 
7月13号的经文阅读:马太福音14章--由Hans P弟兄编写

This morning by way of exhortation we will look at three major incidents in the Gospel of Matthew that are recorded in today's reading of Matthew 14 - the death of John the Baptist, the feeding of the 5000 and the calming of the sea. 

The Death of John the Baptist
Why was John in prison in the first place we may ask? Herod who is mentioned here in Matthew 14 was Antipas, the ruler of Galilee. It was his father, Herod the Great, who was Ruler in Matt 2 when the wise men came asking, "Where is he that is born king of the Jews?" and who then had all the children two years old and under put to death in Bethlehem. Historians describe him as an Idumean in race, a Jew in religion, a heathen in practice and a monster in crime. Upon his death Archelaus inherited half his territory. A 4th part of his kingdom was given to a brother of Archelaus namely Antipas, the murderer of John, who is styled by historians as "a wily sneak" and whom the Lord himself named "that fox" (Luke 13v32).
首先我们可能要问:施洗约翰为什么会被关在监狱?马太福音第14章所提到的希律是亚基老,是加利利的统治者。他的父亲,大希律,就是马太福音第2章记载的那位,曾经有博士问他"那生下来作犹太人之王的在哪里?"。大希律后来竟将伯利恒城里所有的两岁以内的男孩都杀尽了。历史学家认为他在血缘上是以东人,信仰犹太教,在他死亡以后亚基老继承了他的领土的一半。这个王国的第四任统治者是亚基老的一个兄弟,名叫Antipas ,史学家称这个人性格狡猾而阴险,主耶稣曾经用"那个狐狸"来称呼他(路家福音13:32)。 
The Herodians who were Idumeans (descendants of Esau) were originally elevated to power by the Romans. From this extended family developed a religious sect known as the Herodians who, together with the Pharisees and Sadducees, plotted to destroy our Lord. (Compare Matt 22v16, Mark 3v6). 

Herod had put away his first wife so that he could marry Herodias who he had lured away from his brother Phillip. This was a total disregard of the Godly principles of marriage. This adultery, openly practised by one of the "leaders" of the nation, could only have a disastrous affect on the morals of the people. John, being a man of God, could not rebuke the nation and yet stand by and ignore this wickedness by their ruler. Being a man of faith and certainly not a respecter of persons, he admonished Herod to his face and no doubt repeatedly in the audience of many who came to hear him preach on the banks of the River Jordan.
希律已经打发掉他的第一任妻子,因此可以和从他的兄弟飞利浦那里勾引到的希罗底结婚了。他的行为完全不顾婚姻的神圣原则。这个通奸行为竟然被一个国家 的领导公开实施,只能够对这个国家人民的道德产生灾难性的影响。约翰是一个有信心的人,他当然不会顾惜人的情面,他曾经当面对希律的行为表示憎恶,毫无疑问也会在约旦河岸的传道中反复对听众表明他的看法。

For this Herodias wanted John put to death, but Herod instead imprisoned him for he "feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy" (Mark 6v20). The day came when this wicked woman saw the opportunity to have John killed. At the birthday celebrations for Herod her daughter pleased Herod with her dancing and he foolishly promised her whatever she asked. At her mother's request she asked for the head of John. 
Thus a faithful servant of God who had fulfilled his calling till the day of his death was beheaded. 
因此希罗底是想杀害约翰,但是希律却没有这样做,而是将约翰关押起来,因为他"知道约翰是义人,是圣人,所以敬畏他,"(马可福音6:20)。然而希罗底这个邪恶的女人终于找到了杀害约翰的机会。到了希律的生日,希罗底的女儿,在众人面前跳舞,使希律高兴。希律就起誓,应许随她所求的给她。希罗底的女儿被她母亲所指使,就说要施洗约翰的头。约翰这个对 神忠心的仆人一直到他被斩首的那一天都在履行 神对他的召唤。
John was a man committed to the work God had given him. What an exhortation he is to us to "preach the word in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke with all longsuffering and doctrine" (2 Timothy 4v2). Whether it was an insignificant farmer or a rich ruler, John was not afraid to express the principle of God's righteousness to all who were in need of correction and help. We too can learn from his example of steadfastness in the face of opposition. Let us think upon the words of the Lord "Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 10v22).
约翰忠于 神交托给他的工作。他所传给我们的就是"务要传道。无论得时不得时,总要专心,并用百般的忍耐,各样的教训,责备人,警戒人,劝勉人。"(提摩太后书4:2)不管面对的是一个毫不起眼的农夫,还是富有的统治者,约翰从来不惧怕表达 神的公义的原则。我们还能够学习他面对反对时的坚定。让我们思考主教导我们的话语:"你们要为我的名,被众人恨恶,惟有忍耐到底的,必然得救。"(马太福音10:22)
Jesus himself would have been greatly grieved when he heard of the death of his beloved cousin and fellow labourer (vv12-13) for not only were they united in their work but also it was a solemn reminder to Jesus that it was now only 12 months till his own crucifixion, being as it was close to Passover (John 6v3). Jesus saw the need for himself and his disciples to come apart for a time to rest and meditate after the death of John the Baptist; and so they departed by ship for a desert place. Mark is more detailed (Mk 6v31) when he records that they needed to rest as they were so busy they did not even have time to eat.

The Feeding of 5000 
As the ship reached the "desert" place it was far from deserted as v14 states: "And Jesus went forth and saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion toward them and healed their sick". Here we learn the true spirit of self-sacrifice-Jesus' needs were put aside for the needs of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. How often we feel we need time to ourselves, and will not put ourselves out for others-we feel we have done enough for the Truth or we are too tired! Not so with our Master who was always ready to help those who needed his care.

And so the good Shepherd sat down and taught the people, as Mark 6:34 records, and healed their sick. The day was coming to an end and the shadows of the surrounding hills were steadily creeping upon the multitude sitting listening to the perfect Teacher. So we ourselves are all faced with the waning of life. The sun surely sets eventually on every person on the earth as we are all mortal; however we lean upon the words of our Lord who as the true Shepherd will give us that food that will lead to eternal life. 

The disciples urged Jesus in v 15 to send the multitude away to buy food for themselves. Note Jesus' answer in v 16: "Give ye them to eat". No doubt this statement by the Lord astounded the disciples and they replied: "We have here but five loaves and two fishes". Mark records that they asked:"Shall we go and buy 200 pennyworth of bread?". But Jesus had something more profound in mind. The type of bread he was offering the multitude could not be bought with money. Compare Isaiah 55 v1: "Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye buy and eat; yea come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear and come unto me: hear and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David". We must listen to the voice of the good Shepherd and learn to hunger and thirst after righteousness. Even Moses told Israel in the wilderness: "Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord" (Deut. 8v3 see also Matt. 5v6).
在第15节中门徒们敦促耶稣打发众人散开好去买吃的,请注意耶稣在第16节中说的话是:"你们给他们吃吧。"。门徒们无疑对耶稣所讲的话感到惊异,他们回答说:"我们这里只有五个饼,两条鱼。"马可福音记载门徒是这样问的:"我们可以去买二十两银子的饼,给他们吃吗?"但是耶稣思考的是更深刻的内容。他所要给众人的饼是金钱买不到的。对照以赛亚书55:1-3(原文有误):"你们一切干渴的都当就近水来。没有银钱的也可以来。你们都来,买了吃。不用银钱,不用价值,也来买酒和奶。你们为何花钱买那不足为食物的,用劳碌得来的买那不使人饱足的呢?你们要留意听我的话,就能吃那美物,得享肥甘,心中喜乐。你们当就近我来。侧耳而听,就必得活。我必与你们立永约,就是应许大卫那可靠的恩典。"我们一定要听从这样一位好牧羊人的话,要学会"饥渴慕义"。即使是摩西在旷野中也教导以色列众人:"人活着,不是单靠食物,乃是靠 神口里所出的一切话。"(申命记8:3,以及马太福音5:6)

It is interesting to note that to be fed by our Lord has a cost. Firstly his life was given for our sins that we might have the hope of attaining to his glory, and secondly we need ourselves to be labouring in our desire to receive his spiritual food. To hunger and thirst after righteousness means that our hunger and thirst has not been satisfied with the food that this world can offer.

In verse 19 we see that Jesus commanded the people to sit down on the grass and then he took the five loaves and two fishes, gave thanks and his disciples distributed it to the multitude. And so this wonderful miracle took place, and when they had all eaten there were12 baskets full left.

The contrast here with the earlier feast of King Herod is unmistakable. His was a sumptuous feast to celebrate himself and it became a feast of death; on the Galilean hillside stood a greater king than Herod who gave a feast of life. The food was meagre, just bread and fish; but it was multiplied to satisfy a host of people. Jesus who gave the feast was the greater Son of David in contrast with the usurping house of Edom; and by this foreshadowed the gift of himself for the salvation of man. As they partook of bread so they (and we) must partake of him if we are to have life. Look at John 6v56: "He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me, and I in him". 
这场宴会和在此以前希律王办的宴会的反差是很清楚的。希律为了庆祝自己的生日主办的奢华的宴会后来变成了一场死亡的宴席。而在加利利的山脚下有一位比希律更大的国王,他主办的是赐予生命的筵席。这场筵席是简单的,只有饼和鱼;但是食物却越来越多能够满足筵席的所有主人。耶稣是大卫王伟大的后裔,而希律只是篡位的以东人。耶稣提供的食物预表着他自己,是为了拯救他人。如果想得到生命,他们在吃饼的时候他们(以及我们)一定要有耶稣住在他们里面。 请看约翰福音6:56里所说的:"吃我肉喝我血的人,常在我里面,我也常在他里面。"

The fact that there were five loaves and two fishes is symbolic in itself. Five is the number of grace and the two fishes can typify the two classes of people that are drawn to Christ, Jew and Gentile. The food miraculously provided is like the manna given in the wilderness. Jesus is both "the living bread" and "meat that endureth unto the end" (John 6v51,27). 
五个饼,两条鱼是一个符号。五是表示恩典的数字,两条鱼归纳了受洗归于基督的两类人:犹太人和外邦人。这些通过神迹所提供的食物就像在 神在旷野中赐给以色列人的的吗哪一样,耶稣既是使人"永远活着"的粮食,又是"存到永生的食物"(约翰福音6:51,27)

In verse 20 of Matt 14 we see that there were 12 baskets full the fragments collected. No doubt the baskets would have belonged to the 12 disciples who themselves benefited from the miracles of Jesus. With the bread symbolic of the word of God, the 12 Apostles took that spiritual food to the uttermost parts of the earth.

After the feeding of the 5000 we read in verse 22 that Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship and sail to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, while he himself went up into a mountain alone to pray to his Father. Here we see the need for prayer that Jesus always had-as Son of God he often quietly went aside alone to pray to His Father. We likewise should always make time to speak with Him who cares for us and provides all our needs. Jesus needed his Father's strength to help him with his work, and so we too need to pray constantly to our God, who is our Heavenly Father to help us.
在22节我们看到,在喂饱5000人以后,耶稣没有让他的门徒上船,而是自己行船到加利利海,在一座山上独自地向他的父祷告。在这里我们看到耶稣总是需要向他的父祷告--作为 神的儿子,他经常安静地走到一旁默默地向 神祷告。我们也应该经常与他交谈,因为他关心我们,为我们预备好了一切所需要的。耶稣需要来自他的父的力量来帮助他完成他的工作,我们也应该向我们的 神祷告,因为他是我们在天上的父亲,乐于帮助我们。

The Calming of the Sea
In the latter part of this chapter our Lord performs another miracle as he walks on the Sea of Galilee and calms the storm. His disciples were struggling in vain against the stormy tempest that had arisen and they would perhaps have even begun to worry that they would not survive. It was between 3am and 6am when Jesus came walking to them on the water. This whole scene described here is symbolic also of the work of our Lord. In the feeding of the 5000 it is recorded that the day was "far spent" (Mark 6v35). Jesus had departed to be with his Father in prayer (symbolically ascending to heaven), and the disciples were left to toil in the dark world of life in the sea of nations. We all toil on this sea, but if we are "in Christ" we are safe as long as we maintain our vigilance against the worldly storms that would swallow us up. 

In Mark 6v48 we read:"And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them". Jesus was conscience of his disciples and the danger they were in, even as he is conscience of us also in our trials. He has compassion towards us if we suffer for his name. John 6v17 says: "And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them." The sense of the Greek here is that they were expecting him. Again here is a picture of the saints throughout the ages including us today, as we toil in life waiting expectantly for the return of our Lord. The storms and tempests of life around us must be borne with faith, courage and determination until he returns. In Matt 14v25 it tells us that he came in the fourth watch which is the last watch before daybreak. And so when Jesus does return it will be the dawning of a new age when God's glory will fill this world and dispel all the darkness of the evil night.
在马可福音6:48中我们看到,耶稣"看见门徒,因风不顺,摇橹甚苦。"就意识到他的门徒正处在危险当中,就像现在,他也明白我们所受的试验,他怜恤我们因着他的名所受的苦。约翰福音6:17中说:"天已经黑了,耶稣还没有来到他们那里。"这句希腊文中含有盼望耶稣的意识。这里再次给我们展现了一幅包括我们在内的历代圣者的画卷,在折磨当中等待耶稣基督的回来。我们要用信心、勇气和决心来忍受围绕我们的风暴以及生活中的试探,一直等到耶稣基督的回来。马太福音14:25告诉我们耶稣是在夜里四更天到门徒那里,就是在即将天亮的时候。当耶稣基督再次回来的时候,将是在 神的荣耀即将充满世界,邪恶的黑暗就要排除的新时代的拂晓。

Peter in vv28-31 shows us his confidence in his Lord by walking to him on the sea! But in the turmoil of the waves his faith floundered and he cried out to Jesus, "Lord, save me", and Jesus stretched forth his hand to him. These will be the words on our lips at the judgment seat of Christ, when we see all our failings and cry out for his mercy and love to save us.
彼得在28-31节当中向我们展现了他的信靠主的心,他也在海上行走!但是因为他的信心不足以对抗风浪,他对耶稣喊道:"主阿,救我。" 耶稣赶紧伸手拉住他。这些话也将是我们在基督的审判宝座前要说的话,我们看见了我们的缺点喊着希望能够得到他的仁慈和爱来拯救我们。

When Jesus entered the ship the sea became a great calm, typifying the peace that will follow at the return of our Lord. His disciples worshipped him saying, "Of a truth thou art the Son of God". Such praise will be on the lips of all who have faithfully endured and enter into the Kingdom. May we all share in the joy of that day with the apostles and all the other faithful throughout the ages who have patiently endured the storms of life.

Let us now partake of the emblems of the bread and the wine which symbolise his flesh and blood which he sacrificed for our salvation, that we may have life and have it more abundantly, giving praise to the God of Israel for his wonderful calling.
现在让我们开始圣餐,这饼和这杯象征着耶稣基督的肉和血,是他为了拯救我们所作的牺牲,为的是让我们能够得到生命,并且得的更丰盛。让我们赞美以色列的 神,因着他奇妙的召唤。