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軛 Yokes

「凡在軛下作僕人的,當以自己主人配受十分的恭敬,免得神的名和道理,被人褻瀆。僕人有信道的主人,不可因為與他是弟兄就輕看他。更要加意服事他。因為得服事之益處的,是信道蒙愛的。你要以此教訓人,勸勉人。」(提前六1-2)

從經文看出當時教會中有些會眾是做僕人的,他們在軛下失去自由,渴望自由,信主後若主人也是主內弟兄,在教會與主人平起平坐,回到家當然也想要平起平坐;若遇到不信主的主人,更是不能順服 ─ 蒙神祝福得獎賞的人,怎能順服不信主、受審判的人呢? 在這裡保羅並沒有滿足會眾的需要,乃是按照神的真理教導,要僕人恭敬自己的主人,應用在教會治理中,不可追求滿足人的需要,乃要順服神在聖經中的指示。真信心不受社會潮流、解放運動影響,更不能將自己的利益放在神之前。

每個人都有當負的軛,凡神所預備的軛都要順服─服事你不想服事的人,做不喜歡的職業,愛不是太可愛的配偶,每個人都有不願意承擔但必須承擔的事,神若沒有給你主人的位置,不能靠自己改變;若想靠自己改變會表現在你的態度上,或輕看、或不服、或無禮。拒絕負軛的結果就是神的名和神的道被褻瀆。順服主人與否直接與神的名有關,因此,恭敬自己的主人就是見證主的真道,榮耀神的名。

僕人當如何恭敬主人呢? 第一,不可輕看他。輕看就是藐視、不重視,神給人不同的職業、地位,要尊重神所設立的權柄。第二、要加意服事他。第三,要信道蒙愛─就是委身、聽神的話。第四、聽從主人如聽從基督;不只在眼前事奉,要從心裏甘心事奉,好像服事主。(弗6:5-7)若能這樣行,就必得得主的賞賜─服事的益處。(提前6:2)

最後,真正能解除軛的是耶穌基督,耶穌說:「我心裡柔和謙卑,你們當負我的軛,學我的樣式;這樣,你們心裡就必得享安息。因為我的軛是容易的,我的擔子是輕省的。」(太11:29-30)讓我們相信耶穌,效法耶穌榜樣,安息在神的軛中,除去自己的自大、自私,為榮耀神的名而活。

All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves. (1 Timothy 6:1-2)

It can be seen from the Scriptures that part of the congregation in the early church were servants who lost their freedom under the yoke and yearned for freedom. After the servants believed in Jesus, if their master was also a brother in the Lord, the servants might want to have an equal status with their master at home just as in church. If the servants had unbelieving masters, they did not want to obey. How can those who are blessed and rewarded by God obey the unrighteous who are to be judged? Here Paul did not meet the needs of the congregation but taught according to God’s truth. Servants are required to respect their masters. Applying this to church supervision, the leader should not seek to satisfy people’s desires, but must obey God's instructions in the Bible. True faith is not affected by social trends and liberation movements, nor should we put our own interests before God.

Everyone has a yoke to bear, and all yokes are from God and must be obeyed, such as serving people you don’t want to serve, working in professions you don’t like, loving your spouse who is not that lovable; everyone has responsibilities which they might not want to bear. If God did not give you the position of a master, you can’t change your position by yourself. If you try to change position on your own, it will be reflected in your attitude such as despising others or disobedience or rudeness. As a result of refusing the yoke, the name and Word of God are profaned. Obedience is directly related to the name of God. Therefore, to respect your master is to testify of the Word and glorify God's name.

How should a servant respect his master? First, do not despise him. To despise means to not value. God gives people different occupations and positions which we must respect. Second, serve him even better. Third, believe and love, that is to commit yourself and listen to God's words. Fourth, obey your master as you obey Christ, not only serving in front of people, but also serving willingly from the heart as if you were serving the Lord. (Ephesians 6:5-7) If we can walk in these ways, we will be rewarded by the Lord and receive the benefit of serving.

Finally, it is Jesus Christ who can really lift the yoke. Jesus said, " Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30) Let us trust in Jesus, follow the example of Jesus, rest in the yoke of God, and live for the glory of God’s name.

Rev. Benguang Du 都本光牧師~

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