4/9/2023 復活節之後 ~周錦榮執事
加利利是一切開始的地方，是耶穌傳道侍工的發原地 (可1:28)。在那裡，祂改變了多人的生命，是主的信徒集居點。門徒從加利利而來，是他們所熟識和感覺安全的家鄉。他們要回到那裡，回到他們最初被召的場境----耶穌曾在那裡召集他們，他們就撇下一切跟隨祂。在那裡，他們看見耶穌為人醫病，趕鬼，施行神蹟，見證了祂奇妙大能，也聽到祂傳的天國福音和各樣的教導，與祂同食同住。復活之後，耶穌更與使徒回到加利利，基督用許多的憑據、將自己活活的顯給使徒看、向他們講說神國之事，有四十天之久 (使徒1: 3)，讓他們再次体會祂的同在和團契 (約21:1-23)。正如約翰所見證的，這生命之道是他親手摸過的，祂住在他們中間，充充滿滿有恩典有真理，是父神的獨生子。保羅在大馬色路上遇見主後，也沒有上耶路撒冷，和屬血氣的人商量，卻去了阿拉伯三年，親歷主的教導（加1:17-18）。
After Easter ~Deacon Kelvin Chau
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”” (Matthew28:1-10NIV)
At the age of 12, Jesus was in Jerusalem for the festival, and he did not leave right away. He studied and had discussions with the teachers in the temple (Luke 2:46). The passage from Matthew above says that Jesus hastened his disciples to return to Galilee. What is the purpose of going back to Galilee?
For the disciples, this particular festive journey they took was a shocking experience beyond their comprehension, and had turned their world upside down. The dream of glory at the beginning was completely shattered by Christ's crucifixion, and His resurrection occurred afterwards was beyond their mortal understanding. Even though the disciples firmly believed that Jesus is the Son of God who truly died and truly resurrected, they failed to understand why He did not come to reign, overthrow the Roman government, and restore the nation of Israel. If the disciples remain perplexed, their belief is of little use. How can they fulfill the Great Commission of Kingdom and Heaven?
It all began in Galilee, the birthplace of Jesus' ministry (Mark 1:28). Galilee was where Jesus changed many lives, and it was a gathering place for the Lord's believers. The disciples all came from Galilee, a home bound region they knew well and felt safe in. Galilee was where Jesus called them and they responded by leaving everything behind to follow Him. In Galilee they also witnessed Jesus’ wonderful power of healing the sick, casting out demons, and performing miracles. They also heard His preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven and biblical teachings while eating and living with Him. After resurrection, Jesus returned to Galilee with his apostles. Christ showed Himself to be alive among His disciples by providing many proofs, and spoke to them about the Kingdom of God for forty days (Acts 1: 3). The disciples experienced Jesus’ presence and fellowship once again (John 21:1-23). John witnessed that he touched Jesus, the Way of Life, with his own hands. Jesus, full of grace and truth, lived among them as the only begotten Son of God the Father. After Paul met Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus, he did not go to Jerusalem to consult with human. Instead, he went to Arabia for three years to experience the Lord’s teaching. (Galatians 1:17-18) .
Going back to Galilee means going back quietly to the Lord with the willingness to be mended, reminded, and re-educated by God’s words. We should be in awe once again by Jesus’ miracles, power, grace, salvation, death and resurrection. Let’s examine our unfaithfulness to Christ and reflect on our failures; and follow Christ example of obedience, mindset, and love. Christ’s death and resurrection represents a new beginning. Let’s start by relying on Our Savior who loves and dies for us. He sacrifices Himself for our inequities, and leads us into God’s glory.
Forty days later, the disciples returned to Jerusalem with changed lives and mindset. They had the spirit of Christ within them. They waited obediently and prayed with one heart. They waited for the Holy Spirit to descend, and valiantly assumed the Great Commission of the Kingdom of Heaven.