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[證道] 寡婦的奉獻 [Sermon]The Widow’s Offering (SIMON)

中文版 English


主題:寡婦的奉獻

經文:可12:41-44

Simon牧師


各位親愛的弟兄姐妹,大家主內平安。感謝上帝的恩典和帶領,讓我們再一次回到教會一同的敬拜,一同來事奉我們的上帝。在此也感謝我的好友蔡牧師在台灣期間帶領我去參加許多不同的教會,也帶領我在不同的教會有不同的服事。我知道你們教會的牧師是香港人,這不簡單,漂洋過海來到一個語言和我們不一樣的國家服事我們大家,我想這是一份奉獻的勇氣。


我們外國人,去到別人國家的時候,最擔心的就是別人把我們給邊緣化,我第一次出國就是來台灣,但是我在台灣從來沒感覺被邊緣化,只是感覺慢慢被同化,有時在街上,還有台灣人和我問路,我還回答的蠻自然,回答完之後,我才發現其實我不是台灣人啊。你看,沒有被歧視、沒有被瞧不起、沒有被邊緣化的哪一種感覺是多麼的好,多麼的棒。但是今天早上,我們要在聖經中看見一個被瞧不起、被欺壓甚至是被邊緣化的一個人物。


在聖經今天經文裡面給我們看見一個女人的生命,在可12:41-44說到一個寡婦的奉獻,寡婦是什麽人?就是一個失去了丈夫的女人!對不對?在古猶太社會,女人在社會沒有什麼地位,一個沒丈夫的女人更加淒慘,一個又窮又沒丈夫的女人更加沒有價值。所以這一個的寡婦可以説是當時沒有價值 沒有地位,被人看不起的邊緣之人!


但是主耶穌在這個時候對他的門徒說了什麽話?在V43耶穌告訴他的門徒,這窮寡婦投入庫裏的比眾人所投的更多。這裡講到的眾人可能是上文所提到的文士,可能也是一些吞掉寡婦家產的的人,一些假冒僞善的人,也可能是當時奉獻的財主。不管他們是誰,耶穌基督一個都沒有看重他們的奉獻,但是耶穌基督卻看重了這寡婦的奉獻,稱讚這寡婦的奉獻,而且更加重要的就是他要透過這寡婦的奉獻來教導他的門徒。門徒是什麼人?是男人,而且還是跟隨耶穌多年的人,但是耶穌要他們向一個寡婦,一個被邊緣的人學習奉獻的功課。


各位親愛的弟兄姐妹,寡婦的奉獻不但成爲了當時門徒的榜樣,更加成為我們今天身為基督徒的榜樣。

到底寡婦的奉獻有什麽特別?耶穌要透過寡婦的奉獻教導我們一個怎樣的功課?我們今天就一起來思想這寡婦的奉獻是一個怎樣的奉獻?


1)完全的奉獻

寡婦的奉獻是一個完全的奉獻,我們看V42,寡婦奉獻了多少錢? V42說:兩個小錢,就是一個大錢。如果兩個小錢的價值就等於一個大錢的價值,爲什麽聖經要如此重復的寫?就乾脆寫一個大錢或者兩個小錢就好了阿!對不對?弟兄姐妹,我告訴你,兩個小錢就是一個大錢表面看去價值是一樣的,但是你細心的去研討,你會發現整個奉獻的心態完全不一樣! (馬來西亞的錢:五毛和一塊,主日學學生,台幣50和100)。

這裡給我們看見,其實寡婦她有機會不給完上帝,但是這寡婦她沒有用這個機會不給完上帝,她反而用這個機會完完全全的奉獻給這位的上帝,因此耶穌基督說:這窮寡婦投入庫裏的比衆人所投的更多,因爲她的奉獻乃是一個完全的奉獻。


完全的奉獻不但是指金錢的奉獻(寡婦的奉獻很少阿),完全的奉獻乃是指我們願意全然的擺上,將我們整個身、心、靈, 都獻給我們的上帝。正如保羅在羅12:1:將身體獻上,當作活祭,是聖潔的,是神所喜悅的;你們如此事奉,乃是理所當然的。所以這段經文給我們看見擺上自己跟事奉是息息相關的,是跟生命有關的,上帝看重的乃是一個生命的奉獻,是將生命的主權交託在神的手中。寡婦就是這樣的一個人,她看見上帝就是她的一切,不是一切都是她的上帝(解釋)。


親愛的弟兄姐妹,你今天看到上帝就是你的一切,還是一切都是你的上帝呢?寡婦的奉獻很多嗎?不見的!只是兩個小錢就是一個大錢,但耶穌基督爲什麽那麽看重?因爲奉獻,問題不是你擁有多少,問題是你願意擺上多少?上帝不是要你奉獻完全,上帝乃是要你完全的奉獻 。


(老公看老婆照片的安慰),這個是眼光的問題,今天你的眼光是怎麼樣?你的眼光注目在那裡?

寡婦的眼光因爲先看見完全的上帝,所以她願意完全的回應;

寡婦的眼光因爲先看見豐盛的主宰,所以她沒看見自己的不足;

寡婦的眼光因爲先看見賜福的上主,所以她就不在意旁人的眼光。


今天,我們怎麼看待我們的上主呢?你怎樣看上帝?你用什麽樣的眼光來衡量上帝,就決定了你的人生是怎麽走的,就決定你的生命可以豐盛到什麽程度。我在沙巴看見我們的原住民,他們雖然不富足,但是他們在鄉下拿出他們土產的第一批的農作物奉獻給上帝,要不然就是給上帝的僕人,他們有時自己都沒得吃,但是知道我們去內陸探訪,他們將最好的,最完全的都招待我們。我在我沙巴原住民不完全的生命中卻看見他們的完全的奉獻。當我們選擇事奉我們的上帝時,無論你是什麽崗位,你的眼光如果不是先看見完全的神,而是先看見不完全的人,那麽接下來你的事奉就是應酬人的需要多過回應上帝的呼召。寡婦就是因爲先看見完全的上帝,所以她的回應是毫無保留的,完完全全的奉獻給這位上主。



2)信心的奉獻

寡婦的奉獻除了是一個完全的奉獻,第二方面,寡婦的奉獻也是一個信心的奉獻!曾經有個的牧師這樣說:真正的奉献不是看你給了多少,乃是看你剩下多少。(個人見證)我問你,這寡婦奉獻后還剩下多少?寡婦只有兩個小錢,就是一個大錢,但是她把她有的都給了上帝,這樣的奉獻絕對是一個信心的奉獻,耶穌基督在V44說他們奉獻是自己有餘的,但是這個寡婦是自己不足,把一切養生的都投上了。這樣的奉獻是一個信心的奉獻,是完全相信和信靠在上帝的恩典中。


有人這樣描述信仰,信仰=信心+仰望;你信你所望的,你望你所信的。寡婦就是那樣,他將盼望放在上帝那裏,因此她信心的眼就將焦點放在上帝那裏,她能夠將自己所有的擺上,乃是因爲她的信心看見了那看不見的上帝。哲學家亦是神学家的祈克果,他對信心有一種的定論,我個人覺得這種定論可以幫助我們信仰有所成長。他說的這種定論是:信心的跳躍,跳躍什麽?跳躍你的理性!意思說:你的信心超過你的理性,以你的信仰跨越理性所分析的(超過你所想的,所分析的)。這樣一個信心的跳躍就會產生很大的信仰力量。


(David Backham 的故事)。親愛的弟兄姐妹,這個就是信心的跳躍,跳躍你的理性,跳躍你所想,所分析的,你看這位姐妹,她個子那麽小,腳那麼短,你怎麽想也想不通爲什麽她跑的那麼快!因爲她的信心和盼望建立在一個球星的身上,所以就發揮了很大的力量。


我們基督徒也有一個信仰的對象,就是我們全能的上帝,問題是你對他的信心和仰望有多大?寡婦的奉獻給我們看見她絕對的信心,她將自己一切養生的都投上了,這樣一個絕對的信心不但耶穌稱讚她,還透過她的生命來建立門徒的信仰。我自己本身在沙巴,沙巴是馬來西亞基督教第二大的州屬,第一大是我們的隔壁砂勞越。在沙巴為什麼會這麼多的基督徒呢?除了是當年我們客家人信主,另外一點非常重要的就是客家人,特別是巴色會在當年播下了信心的種子,要將福音傳給我們沙巴道地的原住民。原住民當年鄉下沒水沒電沒道路,政府管都沒管。教會憑著愛心,憑著信心不但要拯救原住民的靈魂,也需要幫助他們的生活基本設施。


反觀這超過100年曆史的宗派,我們當年沒錢、沒人、沒實力,但是就是因為憑著信,望,愛將我們的不足去幫助我們的原住民,才有今天馬來西亞第二大基督教州屬(其大部分都是我們的原住民)。而如此的擺上,上帝從來沒有虧待沙巴的華人教會,到今天,我們還是有能力的與我們原住民的弟兄姐妹彼此的建立教會。


弟兄姐妹,我們學向這位寡婦,雖然知道自己不足、不夠,知道自己的軟弱,但是因爲對神有一顆絕對的信心,所以就勇敢的擺上,勇敢的走下去,勇敢的去承擔。我相信那位信實的神不會不守諾言,我相信他是負責任的上帝,他呼招了你就一定會負責到底。



3)勇敢的奉獻

當我們說了寡婦的奉獻是一個完全的奉獻,信心的奉獻,更加重要的就是一個勇敢的奉獻!你看看V44~寡婦明明知道自己不足,但卻願意將一切養生的都投上了。她這樣一個奉獻是一個勇敢的奉獻,勇敢到什麽地步?連自己的生命都願意擺上(V44)。她接下來怎樣生活我不知道,聖經沒有記載,但是卻記載了她的生命,而她的生命因爲記載在聖經裏頭,到現在還在影響著你和我。


(小孩子打破玻璃的故事)這個小孩子是很勇敢,不過他的勇敢不是建立在真理上,所以這份勇敢發揮不到什麽作用。寡婦的勇敢是建立在真理上,是將眼光瞄準在上帝的身上,她的「投上」是一個勇敢的舉動。當這份勇敢建立在真理上,上帝的力量就很明顯的彰顯出來,不但成爲了當時后門徒的榜樣,也成爲了我們世世代代基督徒的榜樣。


(馬丁路德改革的故事),親愛的弟兄姐妹,唯有我們認定我們的上帝是活的上帝,我們才有這份勇氣投入進去。寡婦就是因爲看見上帝是一位活的上帝,不是一位死的上帝,她才有這一份的勇氣投上。我們今天要怎樣才可以經歷到上帝的大能?體會到上帝的同在?我們唯有積極的,勇敢的在上帝的聖工上,與上帝的聖工有份,才可以真正的體會你的上帝是多麼的信實,多麼的有能力,多麽的偉大。(如果我要學會游泳,你認爲最好的教導的方法是什麽?是在我旁邊説道理給我聼?是買一本書給我看自己學?還是去游泳池看別人怎麽游泳?我告訴你,最好的方法就是把我丟進水,這樣我才可以學到怎麽游泳!)


在我們的信仰上也是如此,除了完全的奉獻自己,憑著信心的擺上,更加重要的就是我們要有一個勇敢的行動,我知道我們很多時候很難將自己擺上,認爲自己不行,認爲自己不會,怕自己做不好上帝的工作,怕做錯,我問你,什麽人是不會做錯事的?全世界只有一種人是不會做錯事的,就是從來不做事的人!


今天無論你是臺上事奉、台下服事、帶領小組、做生意、你讀書、你投資、你建立關係等等,只要你有做事情,都有機會出錯,都有風險。寡婦這樣勇敢的奉獻也有她的風險,但是她那樣勇敢的投上給我們看見她的生命成爲了一個豐盛的生命。我相信如果我們的勇氣是建立在真理上,勇敢的倚靠那位活的上帝,我們的生命也會如同這位寡婦那樣的豐盛!回想我當年第一次出國,第一次就是來台灣,第一次就是去到玉山神學院,第一個朋友也是原住民。我當時第一次出國,怕的要死,一到了機場第一次看見國旗不是自己的國旗,忽然覺得這個地方好陌生,好想回家哦。但是今天回想,如果當年學院有這樣的推薦,而我沒有這份勇氣,我相信我這一輩子也離開不了我的安樂窩,更加體會不到台灣的美好,也沒法子在台灣的期間認識了這麼多的好朋友。因著當年的勇氣,才有今天的祝福;寡婦因著當年的勇氣,才有今天的見證,弟兄姐妹,你呢?你的勇氣呢?


寡婦的生活很平凡,但是卻有一個不平凡的生命,有人這樣描寫:

Good - God = 0(好的事情失去了神,就等於零);

0 + God = Good(沒有,加上了神,就等於美好)。

她雖然什麼都沒有(0) 但是因為她的生命有了上帝(God),

她的生命就變的 更加美好、豐盛及有力量(Good)。(解釋)


耶穌基督爲什麽要從寡婦的奉獻來教導門徒?門徒不是已經奉獻了自己嗎?門徒不是已經跟隨了主耶穌嗎?如果我們仔細看下文,無論是可或路,接下來都是寫到災難的事情,在可13章就描寫了許多末世會發生的事情,有各種的災難和挑戰,我們看看我們的新聞報道,我們就可以聯想到這個世界是多麽的悲哀!(打開報紙,沒有好的新聞)


親愛的弟兄姐妹,耶穌基督要透過寡婦的奉獻教導門徒奉獻的委身,要完全的奉獻,要信心的奉獻,要勇敢的奉獻,只有這樣的奉獻自己才能經的起時代的挑戰和考驗。我們今天活在一個充滿挑戰困難的時代裏面,我們是不是願意的完全擺上自己,信心的擺上自己,甚至我們勇敢的踏出這一步,與上帝同工,將上帝的囯建立在我們的土地上。


在那沒有愛的地方表現上帝的愛,

在那沒有公義的地方彰顯上帝的公義,

在哪需要憐憫的地方留下憐憫,

在哪需要醫治釋放的地方凸現上帝的大能。


親愛的弟兄姐妹,我和你有一個共同點就是我們都是軟弱的人,但我們也有一個共同能力的信仰,也许我們像寡婦那樣無能,但是只要願意完全的奉獻,信心的奉獻,勇敢的奉獻自己,我們就能與上帝同工,在末世的時代去成就福音的果子!願上帝賜福給你們。


Topic: The Widow’s Offering

Bible passage : Mark 12:41-44

Pastor Simon


Dear brothers and sisters, peace be to you in our Lord Jesus Christ. I thank God for His grace and guidance, that we can gather once again here in this church to worship and serve Him together. I would also like to thank my good friend, Pastor Cai, for bringing me to visit and serve in many different churches during my stay in Taiwan. I know that your church pastor is from Hong Kong, and it's not an easy task, crossing oceans to serve in a country with languages different then that of your home country. This, I believe is an offering of courage.


When we visit other countries as foreigners, the most worrying thing is to be marginalized. My first trip overseas was to Taiwan, but I never felt marginalized. Instead I felt I was being slowly assimilated. There were occasions when on the street, I was approached by locals asking for directions, and I was able to answer them quite naturally. After answering, I then realized that I am not from Taiwan. How great it felt for me to not be discriminated against, despised, or marginalised. But this morning, we are going to look at a person who was despised, bullied, and even marginalised in the Bible.


In today's scripture, we look at a particular woman's life. Mark 12:41-44 tells the story of a widow's offering. Who was this widow? She was one who had lost her husband. Women had no status in ancient Jewish society. A woman without a husband was worse, and a poor woman without a husband had even less societal status. So this widow could be described as a marginalised person who had no value, no status and was looked down upon by those around her at that time!


Yet what did the Lord Jesus say to His disciples? In V43, He said that the poor widow put more into the treasury than all the others. The “others” mentioned here may be referring to the scribes, or those who took the widow's property, or hypocrites, or the wealthy who were making offerings at that time. Regardless who they were, none of them impressed Jesus. Instead, Jesus was impressed by the widow's offering and praised her selfless act. More importantly, He wanted to teach His disciples a lesson through her act of giving. And who were the disciples? They were men who had followed Jesus for years, and yet Jesus wanted them to learn this lesson on giving from a widow, a marginalised person.


Dear brothers and sisters, the widow’s offering not only served as an example for the disciples at that time, but also for us Christians today.


What's so special about the widow's offering? What lessons does Jesus want to teach us? Let's ponder today what kind of giving was the widow’s offering?


1) An Offering of Completeness


The widow’s offering is a giving of everything. Let's look at V42. How much money did the widow give? V42 says: “Two small copper coins, which makes a penny”. If the value of two small coins is equal to the value of a penny, why did the Bible repeat itself? Just write a penny or two small copper coins! Brothers and sisters, I'm telling you that even though the two are of the same value on the surface, but if you study it carefully, you will find that the mentality of giving either of the two is completely different! (Malaysian money: 2 fifty cents coin vs 1 one dollar coin; Sunday school students, 2 NT$50 vs 1 NT$100).


Here we can see that in fact, the widow had the option of not giving God everything she had. She could have just given one copper coin instead of two. Yet she did not do so. Instead, she used this opportunity to offer up everything she had to God. And that, is why Jesus said: This poor widow offered more into the treasury than the others, because her giving was one of everything she had.


OFFERING COMPLETELY DOESN’T JUST MEAN THE GIVING OF MONEY (THE AMOUNT WHICH THE WIDOW GAVE WAS VERY LITTLE), BUT IT ALSO MEANS THAT WE ARE WILLING TO GIVE OUR WHOLE BODY, HEART AND SOUL TO OUR GOD COMPLETELY. Just as Paul said in Romans 12:1: “Offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; it is therefore reasonable for you to serve in this way”. This verse shows us that offering ourselves is closely related to service and life. What God values is the offering of our lives and entrusting it to His sovereignty. The widow is such a person. She sees that God is everything to her, rather then her everything being her God.


Dear brothers and sisters, do you see God as your everything, or your everything as your God? Did the widow give a lot of money? No! It's just two small copper coins. Yet why did Jesus value it so much? Because in offering, the question is not how much you have, but how much are you willing to offer up? God doesn't want you to offer up everything that you own, but God does wants you to offer up of yourself completely.


(The solace when a husband is looking at photos of his wife). Thus, this is a matter of where you set your eyes upon?


Because the widow saw first her God of everything, so she is willing to respond by offering up completely;


Because she saw first her Master of abundance , so she did not see what she lacked;


Because she saw first her Lord of blessings, so she did not care how others saw her.


Today, how do we view our Lord? How you view God will determine how you walk through life, and how full your life can be. The aborigines in Sabah, although they were not rich, they would take the first batch of their crops and offer it up to God. Or they would give it to God's servants. Sometimes even though they didn't enough to eat themselves, when they knew that we would be visiting them, they would offer us their best food as a sign of complete hospitality. I witness their complete devotion in giving, even when they did not have everything in life. When we choose to serve our God, no matter what position you hold, if your vision is not completely focused on God first, but rather only see the imperfections in people, then your service is only to gain the approval of man, rather then a response to God’s calling. The widow saw God completely first, so her response was unreserved and she offered up everything to the Lord.


2) An Offering of Faith


The Widows' offering was not only one of complete giving, but it was also an offering of her faith ! A priest once said: Real giving depends not on how much you give, but on how much you have left. ( Personal witness) Let me ask you, how much did she have left after her offering? She had only two small copper coins, but she gave God all that she had. Such giving is definitely an offering of faith as well. Jesus said in V44 “the others gave out of their abundance, but she gave out of her poverty and and she gave everything she had to live on”. Such giving is an offering of faith, completely believing and trusting in God's grace.


Someone described Belief as this, Belief = Faith + Hope; you have faith in what you hope for, and you hope in what you believe in. That's the widow. She placed her hope in God, so her eyes of faith was focused on God. She offered up all she had because her faith saw the invisible God. The philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard said something about faith that I think can help us grow in our faith : “A leap of faith, leap over what? Leap over your reasoning!”. It means that your faith must exceed your reasoning, and by your belief, you surpass beyond your reasoning (ie more than what you think or analyse). Such a leap of faith will produce a powerful belief.


(The story of David Backham). Dear brothers and sisters, this is a leap of faith, a leap over your reasoning, going beyond your thinking and analytical mind. Look at this girl, she’s small build, and her legs are so short. You wonder out how she could run so fast! Because her faith and hope was build on a soccer star, and that belief produced a powerful force.


We Christians too have a focus of our faith, which is our Almighty God. The question is how much faith and hope do you have in Him? The widow's offering showed us her absolute faith through her act of offering up all that she had. Not only did Jesus praised her, He also used her faith to help build His disciples’ faith. I’m from Sabah, which has the second largest state of Malaysian Christians, and the largest is our neighboring state Sarawak. Why are there so many Christians in Sabah? One of the main reason is due to the Hakka Christians, who labored through the Basel denomination church and sowed the seeds of faith in the early years by sharing the gospel to the Aboriginal people of Sabah. During that time, there was no water, electricity or roads out in the countryside, and the government didn't care about it. By their faith and love, the church not only brought salvation to the aborigines, but also provided them the means to help improve their basic living conditions.


Looking back, this denomination with a history of more than 100 years, we had no money, manpower or resources during those years. But it was by our faith and love that we were able to help our aboriginal people that resulted in Sabah being second largest Christian state in Malaysia today (most of them are our aborigines). In this way, God has never forgotten the Chinese churches in Sabah. Till this day, we are still planting new churches together with our aboriginal brothers and sisters.


Brothers and sisters, we should learn from this widow. Even when we know that we are weak and lacking, because we have absolute faith in God, we can bravely carry on and face all the challenges in our paths. I believe that our faithful God will keep His promises, that He is a responsible God. To those whom He has called, He will be responsible to carry them to the end.


3) An Offering of Courage


The widow's offering was an offering of everything, of faith, and more importantly, an offering of courage! Look at V44, she knew that she had little to offer, but she was willing to give up all of what she had to live on.


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