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二○一八年五月五日/五月六日                                                                                                Click here for English version

你的答案

黃志剛牧師

讓我問問你:「『一分耕耘,一分收穫』與『只問耕耘,不問收穫』,哪一句對人生的啟發更大?」給你一點思考時間……(時間到!)你選哪一句?基於甚麼理由?還是覺得思考時間太少、問題太有深度,不容易三言兩語便說個明白?其實,這是今屆香港中學文憑考試中文口試題目。考生不但要回應問題(先有十分鐘時間準備),還要與其他考生一同討論,各抒己見,互相聆聽。在這樣的處境下思考和回答問題,確實不容易。


「限時作答」、「預設討論」是我們回應問題的其中兩個處境。我想起另一個答問情景——耶穌在該撒利亞.腓立比向門徒提問關於自己身分的問題(太十六 13-17)。祂首先問:「人們說人子是誰?」這個問題似乎太容易了!門徒一口氣便給了四個答案:施洗者約翰、以利亞、耶利米,以及幾近一網打盡的「先知裡的一位」。然後耶穌繼續問:「那麼你們呢?你們說我是誰?」不知道門徒有否料到耶穌會如此追問;今回也不能純粹把道聽塗說的標準答案「翻炒」一次——他們要答自己的答案。結果只有「班長」西門.彼得回答,而且答對了,得著老師的稱許,因為有「師公提水」——天父啟示他。


上星期五,我帶領初中團契 Channel Y 查考這段經文。究竟少年人(當中大多數是「信二代」或在基督教學校就讀)如何回答「耶穌是誰」呢?除了聽到從主日學或聖經課本而來的答案之外,有人說耶穌是神和神的兒子,有人說耶穌是一個我們應當要怕的人;還有一個說耶穌是惟一一個「祂的出生和死亡都帶給我假期的人」;更有幾個說他們雖然自小上教會,但其實不曾想過耶穌是誰。換言之,他們信了、上了教會十多年,但當下才第一次思想耶穌是誰!究竟上述答案哪個對?哪個錯?抑或簡單的對與錯都未算真正回答耶穌和信仰的問題?


我們看看耶穌讚許彼得之後發生了甚麼事。馬太福音十六章 21-23 節:耶穌向門徒表明自己將要被當時的宗教領袖逼迫、殺害,第三日復活。彼得聽見後接受不了,喝斥耶穌,招致耶穌嚴厲的責備,稱他為撒但。原來知道耶穌是誰,答對信仰問題,也不代表我們思念神的心意(太十六 23)。神想要的不是標準答案,而是捨己與跟從(太十六 24)。






Pastor's Sharing
Your Answer
Rev Patrick Wong

Consider these two statements: First, “You always reap what you sow.” And second, “Do your sowing and never mind the harvest.” Which of these do you find more inspiring? Think it over… Now, time’s up. Which one did you pick? Why? Or did you need more time? You found the question too difficult and thought it could not be explained in a few words? This question in fact came from the current HKDSE Chinese oral examination. Candidates had 10 minutes to prepare their answer. They also had to listen to other candidates and add their own views during their discussion. It is indeed not easy.

Giving “time-restricted answers” and engaging in “default discussions” are just two of the scenarios in which we have to answer questions in our everyday life. I can think of another question-and-answer scenario in the Bible. This one found Jesus in Caesarea Philippi, asking His disciples about His identity (Matthew 16:13-17). First, Jesus asked, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” This one was easy. Four answers came - John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah and the more general “one of the prophets.” Then Jesus continued, “Who do you say I am?” It is unknown whether the disciples have expected such a question but this time, they could not just repeat some standard responses picked up from someone else. They must provide their own answer. In the end, only the class monitor, Simon Peter, replied, and did so correctly. He had received his hint from higher up – the Father in heaven, and was commended by the Teacher.

Last Friday, I led a junior secondary fellowship – Channel Y – in studying this passage. How do young people, mostly “second-generation believers” or Christian school students, reply to the question, “Who is Jesus?” I had some Sunday School and Bible textbook responses from the participants. One of them answered, “Jesus is God and the Son of God.” Another said Jesus is someone we should fear. Yet another identified Jesus as the only one whose birth and death bring holidays. A few others admitted that although they have attended church from young, they have never considered this question. In other words, they believe in God and have attended church for more than 10 years, but that Friday was the first time they considered the question of who Jesus is. In the end, which of the above answers is correct and which ones are wrong? Or the questions about Jesus and faith cannot really be answered in a simple right or wrong reply?

Let us see what happened after Jesus had commended Simon Peter. Matthew 16:21-23 tell us that Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must suffer many things at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed and on the third day raised to life. This was unacceptable to Simon Peter, who rebuked Jesus. Jesus gave him a serious censure, calling him Satan. So you see: knowing who Jesus is and getting your answer to the faith question correct does not mean you have the concerns of God in mind (Matthew 16:23). God does not want standard answers. He wants our self-denial. He wants us to take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24).