约翰福音信息之三十一---耶稣在海面上行走

约6:16-21


担心、害怕、恐惧、不安(英文统称为fear)是人们极为普遍的情绪,这种情绪常常带来一系列身心疾病,如焦虑症、抑郁症、强迫症、神经官能症、高血压、胃溃疡等。对于基督徒来说,这种恐惧又常常导致信徒陷入属灵的幽暗和低谷从而一蹶不振。


哪些事情会令人们担惊受怕呢?


设想以下的场景:


一望无际的大海,你躺在一只小木舟里,随波漂流在大海的中央,你的饮用水和食品已经用尽,你没有任何与外界联系的通讯手段,焦急万分地等待着希望缥缈的救援…


广袤无边的沙漠,头顶是烈日当空,脚下是烤热的黄沙,你困倦疲乏,干渴难耐,没有食物、没有饮水、没有手机,环顾四周不见一个人影,一切逃生的可能性几乎断绝…


漫天遍野的白雪,积雪深达你的膝部,你被困在渺无人烟的深山,同样没有食物、饮水、手机,没有房屋、没有篝火,你在寒冷的冬夜里瑟瑟发抖,无望地等待着天亮…


假设你身处上述任何一个场景,试想你会是怎样的惊恐、惧怕、焦虑、不安?


以上都是极端的例子,在现实生活中,有许许多多的事情令我们惧怕不安。


刚刚过去一年的瘟疫、疾病、失业、天灾人祸,

社会各样犯罪如枪击、恐怖、强暴、趁火打劫,

人际关系之中的冷漠、背叛、阴谋、落井下石,

人们心理因素的孤独、胆怯、绝望、不确定性,

自然现象出现的黑暗、夜影、异兆、电闪雷鸣,

灵界层面显现的罪恶、胁迫、辖制、暗黑势力…


约翰福音第六章,耶稣的门徒也曾身处类似的惊恐不安的情景。


“到了晚上,他的门徒下海边去,上了船,要过海往迦百农去。天已经黑了,耶稣还没有来到他们那里。忽然狂风大作,海就翻腾起来。门徒摇橹约行了十里多路,看见耶稣在海面上走,渐渐近了船,他们就害怕。”(约6:16-19)

“When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened.” (John 6:16-19,ESV)


“害怕,”英译“frightened,”为“极度惊恐惧怕”之意。


什么事情使门徒如此惊恐?


耶稣在海面上行走,是约翰福音记载的第五个神迹,平行经文记载在马太福音十四章和马可福音第六章。


加利利海以频繁剧烈的风暴而著称,与加利利的地理位置有关。它东面靠山,海拔2000英尺,产生的冷空气与南部亚热带地区的温热湿润空气相遇即产生骤风,而加利利海深度只有150英尺,因为海水较浅,无法吸收风力的能量,于是便产生风暴。同时,加利利海又相对很小,长宽分别是13英里和7英里,所以,几乎任何风暴都可以立即袭击海面中心而没有预先的征兆。这一点与美国的伊利湖很相似。


当主用五饼二鱼喂饱五千人之后,“耶稣随即催门徒上船,先渡到那边去,等祂叫众人散开。”(太14:22)

“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.”(Matt 14:22,NKJV)


“那时船在海中,因风不顺,被浪摇撼。夜里四更天,耶稣在海面上走,往门徒那里去。”(太14:24-25)

“But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.” (Matt 14:24-25,NKJV)


根据中国古代计时方式,将晚上七点到早晨五点的十个小时分为五更,每更两小时。一更晚上七点至九点;二更晚上九至十一点;三更夜里十一点至半夜一点(中文成语“三更半夜”即是由此而来);四更一至三点;五更三至五点。


如果还原当晚的情景,大致情形如下:门徒下到海边,上船要渡到海那边去,是在晚上的时候。所以门徒晚上上船,行了大约十里多路(三四英里),忽然起了大风,海就翻腾起来。马可福音记载,“门徒因风不顺,摇橹甚苦。”(可6:48)耶稣在四更天也就是两三点的时候,在海面上走,要走到门徒那里去。马太、马可福音都记载,门徒看见祂,以为是个鬼怪,就甚是惊慌害怕,喊叫起来。


所以,门徒为什么害怕?大约以下几个原因:


时间是半夜,周围一片黑暗;地点是在加利利海的中央;处境是狂风大作、海浪翻腾,小船被海浪摇撼;主没有和门徒一起在船上,他们也许会担心挂念主耶稣?最后,耶稣突然在海上行走,逐渐靠近他们… 试想,当门徒深夜在漆黑的大海上正在风浪中摇撸艰难挣扎之时,突然看见远处一个人影向他们靠近,是否立刻感觉到一种外在的巨大力量正在攫取他们?所有这些因素的叠加,使门徒极度惊慌害怕。


“耶稣对他们说,‘是我,不要怕!’”(约6:20)

“But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.””(John 6:20,NKJV)


门徒正惊恐万分时,耶稣对他们说,“是我,不要怕!”


中文翻译省掉了一个转折词“但,”即英文各种版本都译出了这个字:“But.”


“But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.””(John 6:20,NKJV)


这个转折“但”(But)很重要,使当时惊慌惧怕的处境发生完全的反转。


“是我,”直译为“我是!” 英文直译“I AM,” 即原文的 Ἐγώ εἰμι.


“我是”这个词在约翰福音中反复出现,其神学意义极为重要,意思是:“我是耶和华神!”(参出3:14)


约翰福音中有七个重要的“我是”宣称,除此之外还多次出现,宣示耶稣基督无可置疑的神性。“是我”(“我是”)乃主耶稣接下来说的“不要怕”的根本所在!


“是我”(“我是”)(It is I)在此处的上下文中所表达的含义,不仅仅停留在其神学意义(我是耶和华神),更重要的是,这位自称“我是”(耶和华神)的那一位,此时此刻正在门徒身边:我在这里,不要害怕!(I am Here, don’t be afraid!)


“不要怕!”这是圣经最长引用的神的命令。有人统计,整本圣经“不要怕”的命令出现三百多次,大约平均每日一次。因为神知道我们太容易因各样的事情惧怕,所以特别重复几百次给出这个命令。


“我岂没有吩咐你吗?你当刚强壮胆。不要惧怕,也不要惊惶。因为你无论往哪里去,耶和华你的神必与你同在。”(书1:9)

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”(Josh 1:9)


“神是我们的避难所,是我们的力量,是我们在患难中随时的帮助。”(诗46:1)

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”(Ps 46:1, NIV)


“所以我们只管坦然无惧地,来到施恩的宝座前,为要得怜恤,蒙恩惠作随时的帮助。”(来4:16)

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”(Heb 4:16)


“门徒就喜欢接祂上船,船立时到了他们所要去的地方。”(约6:21)

“Then they were willing to take Him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.”(John 6:21)


门徒知道是主,就欢喜接祂上船,他们的惊慌立刻变为喜乐。


“船立时到了他们所要去的地方。”这是主耶稣在海面上行走神迹中的另一个环套神迹。圣经没有记载,耶稣上船之后,门徒又摇啊摇,摇了几个小时,他们最后终于到达了对岸。


你想,因为突然的狂风大作,海浪翻腾,船在海中,被浪摇撼。马可福音特别记载,耶稣“看见门徒,因风不顺,摇橹甚苦,” 他们从傍晚出发,到半夜好几个小时也才划船行了十里多路,但当他们将主耶稣接上船,船就立时到了他们所要去的地方。这岂不是一个神迹?


说到神迹,这段圣经应该还有另外一个神奇的细节。


“夜里四更天,耶稣在海面上走,往门徒那里去。”(太14:25)

“During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.”(Matt 14:25)


门徒已经行了十里多路,但耶稣却从海浪上走到他们那里去。故此,主耶稣不仅在海面上走,而且走了很长的距离---十里多路。你能想象在海浪上走十里多路是什么样的情景?


其实,与此类似的与海上风暴有关的经历,门徒已经有过一次了。


马可福音第四章记载,当主耶稣向众人讲完撒种的比喻之后,就吩咐门徒渡船到对面去。路上“忽然起了暴风,波浪打入船内,甚至船要满了水。耶稣在船尾上,枕着枕头睡觉。门徒叫醒了祂,说,‘夫子,我们丧命,你不顾吗?耶稣醒了,斥责风,向海说,‘住了吧,静了吧。’风就止住,大大地平静了。”(可4:37-39)


“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”(Mark 4:37-39)


那时门徒的反应是: “他们就大大地惧怕,彼此说,‘这到底是谁?连风和海也听从祂了。”(可4:41)

“They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!"”(Mark 4:41)


门徒曾经亲眼目睹主耶稣用口中的话语命令海上风暴止息;他们也曾经亲眼目睹主耶稣变水为酒、医治一个瘫痪三十八年的病人;刚刚他们又亲眼目睹主用五饼二鱼喂饱五千人,而且他们自己也都兴高采烈地亲身参与其中。门徒跟随主耶稣目睹了一个又一个的神迹,然而,他们始终不能将主耶稣的奇特神迹转化为他们自己的信心!


试想,如果他们清楚知道耶稣是基督,是神的儿子,是创造主,是救主弥赛亚,是那位全知、全在、全能者,祂也是加利利海的主宰,祂是对海上风暴说“住了吧,静了吧”的主宰,那么当他们看到耶稣在海面上行走,岂不是很正常的事吗?


马太福音十四章还有一个约翰福音没有记载的细节。


“彼得说,‘主,如果是你,请叫我从水面上走到你那里去。’ 耶稣说,‘你来吧。’彼得就从船上下去,在水面上走,要到耶稣那里去。只因见风甚大,就害怕。将要沉下去,便喊着说,‘主阿,救我。’ 耶稣赶紧伸手拉住他,说,‘你这小信的人哪,为什么疑惑呢?’”(太14:28-31)

“"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. "You of little faith," He said, "why did you doubt?"”(Matt 14:28-31)


除了主耶稣之外,彼得大概是唯一一个曾经在海上行走的人。他一开始走得挺好,但当他一看见风浪很大就害怕,便立刻要沉下去。彼得本能地发出整本圣经记载最短的一个祷告,“主啊,救我!”主耶稣赶紧伸手拉住他。这又是一个神迹,彼得和耶稣显然有一段距离,所以彼得才会说,“叫我从水面上走到你那里去。”但当彼得呼救时,主耶稣便立即伸手拉住他,并用略带责备的口吻说,“你这小信的人哪,为什么疑惑呢?”(太14:31)


让我们回顾一下主耶稣在海面行走神迹的属灵教训。


第一, 当门徒在海里风浪中挣扎的时候,主耶稣在哪里呢?


“耶稣既知道众人要来强逼祂作王,就独自又退到山上去了。”(约6:15)

“Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make Him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by Himself.”(John 6:15,NIV)


“散了众人以后,祂就独自上山去祷告。到了晚上,只有祂一人在那里。”(太14:23)

“After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.”(Matt 14:23)


“祂既辞别了他们,就往山上去祷告。”(可6:46)

“After leaving them, He went up on a mountainside to pray.”(Mark 6:46)


综合三本福音书的记载,五饼二鱼神迹之后,主耶稣令众人散开,吩咐门徒渡船到对岸,然后祂自己独自上山去祷告。


主耶稣祷告的内容,圣经没有记载。主耶稣是否为门徒祷告呢?主知道加利利海上将会出现风暴吗?当然!那祂为什么还要催门徒上船呢?


五饼二鱼是一堂功课,海上风暴是一个测验。主耶稣要籍此坚固门徒的信心。


当我们在艰难、试炼、困苦中挣扎的时候,想到主耶稣在为我们祷告,该是何等的安慰。根据约翰福音十七章的记载,主耶稣两千年前就已经为今日的我们祷告了,如今祂作为我们慈悲忠信的大祭司,在天上坐在父神的右边仍然不断地为我们代求,这是信徒怎样的福分。


第二, 当门徒在海里风浪中挣扎的时候,主耶稣祂知道吗?


“到了晚上,船在海中,耶稣独自在岸上。看见门徒,因风不顺,摇橹甚苦。夜里约有四更天,就在海面上走往他们那里去,意思要走过他们去。”(可6:47-48)

“Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.”(Mark 6:47-48,NKJV)


马可福音清楚记载,“(耶稣)看见门徒,因风不顺,摇橹甚苦。”(“He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them.”)


耶稣是如何看见的?可以确定的是,主耶稣的确看见!祂看见门徒,因风不顺,摇撸甚苦,便从海面上走到他们那里去。


今日当我们在艰难、试炼、困苦中挣扎的时候,主耶稣祂看见吗?祂当然看见!


创世记二十二章,当亚伯拉罕献以撒的时候,耶和华的使者从空中呼叫他,吩咐他不要再童子身上下手伤害他。


然后,“亚伯拉罕举目观看,不料,有一只公羊,两角扣在稠密的小树中,亚伯拉罕就取了那只公羊来,献为燔祭,代替他的儿子。亚伯拉罕给那地方起名叫耶和华以勒(意思就是耶和华必预备)。”(创22:13-14)


“Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide.”(Gen 22:13-14)


“耶和华以勒(耶和华必预备)”的直译是:“耶和华必看见,” 引申意义为:“耶和华必预备。”

“亚伯拉罕给那地方起名叫耶和华以勒(意思就是“耶和华必预备”),直到今日人还说,在耶和华的山上必有预备。”(创22:14)

“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.”(Gen 22:14, KJV)