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Made Known 叫人知道

Sermon passage: (Luke 2:8-21) Spoken on: December 24, 2020
More sermons from this speaker 更多该讲员的讲道: Rev. Wong Siow Hwee
For more of this sermon series 更多关于此讲道系列: Luke

Tags: LUKE 路加福音

Listen to sermon recording with the play button or download with the download link. 您可点播或下载讲道录音。
About Rev. Wong Siow Hwee: Rev. Wong is the moderator of Jubilee Church, serving there since 2002. 王晓晖牧师是禧年堂的主理牧师。自2002年,在那牧会将近20年。
Bible passage (ESV) of the sermon can be found at the bottom of the page.

Title: Made Known
Date: 24th Dec 2020
Preacher: Rev. Wong Siow Hwee

Let’s start with a short skit. The skit has 3 characters, I (speaker), Elder YookCing (translator) who will basically parrot what I say in Chinese, and you. The scenario is Elder YookCing and I just found out about something, and we came to look for you. The success of this skit really depends on how well you express your line, so please try your very best to express your full emotions.
Do you know what happened? What happened?
Really, you don’t know? What happened?
I thought surely you would have known it. What happened?
If you don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t tell you. Seriously, what happened!?
It’s nothing, don’t worry about it. NO tell me, what happened!!?!!
You really want to know what happened? YES!!! What happened?!?!?
Why are you upset? I was going to tell you anyway. @#%%$#@$

I think our skit just described at least 50% of all drama series. Very often, there’s a secret or a mystery about something that had happened, and the drama is based on how the truth is slowly revealed to all the characters one by one. Sometimes, it can be quite frustrating for the viewers, who anguish at the characters because of their miscommunication. Just tell him or her the truth. Why are you not saying it? Or, we might find it incredulous that the characters are missing all the obvious signs of the truth. Can’t he see that she is evil? Or, can’t she see that he is in pain?

But despite the tormenting way a drama slowly unfolds, we cannot deny that that’s actually quite a realistic reflection of our lives. Our brains are accustomed to seeing what we want to see, and hearing what we want to hear, until the truth is highlighted in neon and smacks us in our face, and by then it might already be too late. Relationships are broken because of things left unsaid. Wrong decisions are made because the research or analysis was incomplete and no one could see the situation clearly. Or a conflict occurs, but instead of addressing it, we just let it fester and breed bitterness in the community, instead of addressing it openly. Our passage today is about the truth, and the truth needs to be revealed in order to be seen or heard.

There’s a word in verse 15, “made known”, that I think is critical to our passage today: When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 【1】 I prefer the translation “made known” instead of just told. I did a word study of this original Greek word and discovered that even though this word can be used generically, most of the time, it is used in the New Testament almost exclusively about making either God or the Gospel known. This word occurred 25 times in the NT, but to save time, I will only list out the 3 most interesting quotations.

First, ‘made known’ is about God revealing who he is. In Romans 9: 22 God show his wrath and make his power known 23 he make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy. In 2 Corinthians 8: [Paul] want [the church] to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.

What do you think is made known about God at Christmas, when God sent his Son to earth as a Savior for all mankind? I think the angels spell it out for us: 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Christmas made God’s will to make peace with men known to us, and that was a revelation of his glory because it further made known his love and goodwill towards us. Christmas is about the birth of a Savior to reconcile us back to God. As the angel declared: 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

In short, firstly, ‘made known’ is used to reveal the nature of God, his wrath and power, his mercy and glory, his love and peace. Secondly, I wish to highlight that the salvation plans of God were ‘made known’ in stages, unfolding itself in history to different people. At Christmas, it was Jesus’ family and the shepherds who first knew of the birth of the Savior. But let me explain why the good news wasn’t spread far and wide, with the entire world coming to see Jesus in the manger. At the moment of Christmas in history, words like Savior, Messiah/Christ and Lord also carried political and military overtones. These are words to lead insurrections against the Roman empire. These are words of trouble to anyone who is fearful of losing their power and control over the people. So even though we know that Christmas is meant to bring peace, unfortunately, it meant war in the wrong ears. I suspect this is why even though in our passage today the good news of Christmas was shared all over the little town of Bethlehem, it dissipated almost just as quickly. Our fears are confirmed when we see how King Herod massacred all the babies and toddlers of Bethlehem in Matthew 2 when he heard about the birth of the Messiah there.

The next stage of the salvation plans being made known began when Jesus started his earthly ministry, and he chose his disciples to make known God’s salvation plans (John 15:15; 17:26). But eventually, when the salvation is completed with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the process of making known God’s salvation is left to the churches built by these disciples and Paul as stated in Ephesian 3: 3 that is the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.
10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.

This means that there was a time when these plans were only known by God. Then the plans unfolded in human history. Each time, more and more people came to know about the plans. And when everything is completed, the final process is for the church to make the salvation plans of God known to the entire world. At this point, I want to say something about the proper response of men when they encounter these plans. When someone comes to say, “Hey, good news, Jesus is the Savior sent by God,” what would be the ideal reaction? I believe the shepherds in our Christmas story provided the perfect model.

When they heard about the good news, they quickly made their way to Bethlehem to see the sign of the baby in a manger for themselves. When the truth is made known to you, the right response is to verify it. Don’t assume it is true just because it came from the angels. The words ‘hearing’ and ‘seeing’ occur repeatedly in the Gospels, because that should be the healthy response. If this is the first time you are hearing about Christmas, then go and read the Gospel of Luke for yourself. If this is the first time you are hearing about the interesting Greek word ‘make known’, then get the rest of the verses from me and read them for yourselves.

Then after what has been made known to you is verified, like the shepherds, you must then let the truth be made known to others. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child. ‘Spread the word’ is the same Greek word we have been talking about: “made known”. The shepherds are modeled as the ideal response because, they hear, they see, and then they made the knowledge known to others. In a way, our gospel writer is just like one of the shepherds, he heard about the story, he probably verified it with Mary, and finally he made this Christmas story known to us.

So firstly, the word ‘made known’ is used to describe God revealing himself and his plans, and secondly, this process happens in stages, from knowing to spreading the knowledge. The last quotation I wish to share highlights the effects of this sharing. We see Paul describing this in Ephesians 6: 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. 21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.

In short, when the spreading of the gospel is made known to the Ephesian church, they will be encouraged by the good news. This effect is consistent with Paul’s message in Colossians 4: 7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9 They will tell you everything that is happening here.

Not only must the good news be known and made known, this entire process must also be shared so that all can be encouraged. We can see the same effects in our Christmas story. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Surely they have been greatly encouraged by the good news that was heard, seen, and shared. They must have been encouraging those shepherds who were unable to go with them because they had to stay behind to look after the sheep. But even though those shepherds were not there, they could join in the glorifying and praising of God.

One good thing about social media is that the good work in Jubilee is now much more easily shared. In the past, we were quite reserved about sharing such things because we prefer to do our good works without fanfare, and store our treasures in heaven. But sometimes, people might have the wrong impression that unlike the other churches, Jubilee is not doing anything. I think we can all learn something from what Paul is asking Tychicus to do: share the evangelism that Paul is doing, so that all can be encouraged and give praise to God. Let me summarize the 3 things that I have been sharing about the word ‘made known’. First, you must know God. Second, you must make known what you know to others. Lastly, you must make known that you have been making known what you know to others.

Let’s try our skit again.
Do you know what happened? What happened?
I’ll tell you what happened. The Savior is born in Bethlehem. His name is Jesus, the Messiah and Lord. I verified it with my own eyes, when I opened the bible and read it for myself. From theological college to my pastoral ministry, I’ve spent more than two decades on this book, and yet I’m still discovering more and more about the truth, like what I just shared with you about the special word ‘made known’. God wants to be known by us, and the best way to know God is through Jesus Christ. But don’t just take my word for it. You can read the bible yourself. You can know Jesus and verify the truth yourself.

Brothers and sisters, the truth must be made known. That’s how you know the truth in the first place. Somebody let you know what happened. That’s just how revelation works. Therefore, I’m not just telling you, I’m telling everyone I know. I’m also letting you know that I’m telling everybody. Then you can join me in feeling encouraged and giving praise to God.
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

让我们从一个短剧开始。短剧有3个人物,我(讲者),长老(翻译,跟我讲一样的话),还有您。长老和我刚发现了一些事。我们找你。你要好好表达你的台词,短剧才会成功。所以,请努力和尽情表达你的情感ok。

知道发生了什么事? 发生了什么?
真的吗?你真的还不知道? 发生了什么?
我也以为你已经知道了? 发生了什么?
你既然不知道,也许我不必告诉你吧? 发生了什么事?
也没什么,不必担心? 不!告诉我发生了什么事!
你真的想知道发生了什么事? 是!!发生了什么事???
你怎么这么急躁,我本来就想告诉你。 @#%% $#@ $

我们的短剧,差不多50%的戏剧都有这样的情节。总会有个秘密或谜团,而戏剧就是如何逐步地向人揭晓真相。对于观众来说,有时会感到非常懊恼,因为主角们沟通不好,有误会。哎呀,就清楚告诉真相嘛。为什么不说呢?或者,我们会觉得这些主角们怎么都瞎了眼,看不到明显的迹象,令人难以置信。他怎么看不出这个女的是恶人?或者,为什么她看不到他很痛苦?

尽管戏剧折磨人,实际上,也反映了我们的生活状况。我们的大脑习惯看到我们想要看的,听到我们想要听的,直到真相如闪电打雷击打我们,但可能为时已晚。因着没有说出口的话,关系破裂了。因着研究或分析不完整,看不清情况,做出错误的决定。发生冲突,我们却没及时解决它,而是让它恶化,让苦毒在群体中滋生,而不是坦诚公开处理。今晚的经文是关于真理。真理必须被揭示,才会让人能看到、听到。

15节中有一个词:叫人知道。我认为至关重要。
牧羊的人彼此说,我们往伯利恒去,看看所成的事,就是主所指示我们的。
我更喜欢叫人知道这个翻译。不是仅仅讲。我对这个希腊词进行了研究,发现尽管大多数可以被普遍使用,但在新约圣经中,它几乎完全用于“使到神或福叫人知道”。这个词在新约出现25次。让我列出了3个蛮有意思的。

首先,让人知道什么?是神揭晓自己是谁。
罗马书9:22 神要彰显他的权能, 23 又要将他丰盛的荣耀彰显。。。
哥林多前书2章8节:保罗希望教会知晓上帝赋予马其顿教会的恩典。

关于圣诞节,上帝差他儿子降世为人,拯救世人,你认为圣诞节神要揭晓什么信息?天使已经为我们清楚说了:
14在至高之处荣耀归与神,在地上平安归与他所喜悦的人
圣诞节让我们明白神的旨意是与人和睦,并显示他的荣耀,因为更加表明了神对世人的慈爱和善意。圣诞节的信息是救主诞生,把世人带回神那里,神与人和好。正如天使所说:11因今天在大卫的城里,为你们生了救主,就是主基督。

简单说,首先“叫人知道”这个词,是神的自我启示,揭晓神的属性、他的愤怒、能力;也揭晓神的怜悯、荣耀,慈爱、和平。其次,我必须强调,神的救赎计划是按着阶段地被揭晓;在历史里,向不同的人展现。圣诞节期间,最首先的是耶稣的家人和牧羊人知晓救主的诞生。让我解释一下,为什么好消息没有即刻传遍整个世界,让全世界都看到马槽里的耶稣。

圣诞日在当时的历史时刻,所谓“救世主”、“弥赛亚”、“基督”和“救主”等词,都带有政治军事色彩。这样的词句,可以导致人起义叛乱,推翻帝国。对于任何害怕失去势力和掌控人民的统治者来说,都会麻烦。所以,即使我们知道圣诞的目的是带来和平,但是对于错误的听者,却意味了争战。因此,诚如经文所形容, 即使圣诞的好消息在伯利恒整个小镇上传遍了,但同个讯息也速度消散。的确,后来就有了希律王杀害了伯利恒的男婴孩童的事情,记载在马太福音2章。

揭晓救赎计划的下一个阶段,由主耶稣在世上的事奉开始。主耶稣拣选了门徒,告知他们神的救赎计划(约翰福音15:15; 17:26)。最终,当救赎随着耶稣基督的死和复活而完成,叫人知道神的救赎,这个过程是留给门徒并他们和保罗所家里的教会。
保罗在以弗所书3章写的:
3用启示使我知道福音的奥秘,正如我以前略略写过的。 5 这奥秘在以前的世代没有叫人知道。
10 为要借着教会,使天上执政的、掌权的现在得知神百般的智慧。

这意味着曾经有一段时期,唯有神知道这些救赎计划。然后这计划在人类历史上得以逐渐展开。每一次都由更来的人知晓这计划。当一切救赎都完成了,最终的过程就是叫全世界知道神的救赎计划。在此,我要分享一下,当人接触救赎计划的讯息之后,该有的反应是什么。当人听到:好消息!耶稣是神所赐的救主!理想的反应是什么?圣诞日事件众的牧羊人提供了完美的典范。

当牧羊人听到这个好消息,他们赶紧前往伯利恒,要亲眼确认记号,见证婴孩在马槽。当你听到真相,正当的反应是对其进行验证。不要因为消息源自天使就轻易相信。福音中反复出现“听见”和“看见”这样的词,这都正确的回应。如果这是您第一次听说圣诞的事迹,请亲自阅读路加福音。如果这是您第一次听到这个蛮有意思的希腊词“叫人知道”,你可以找我索取其余的经文,亲自阅读。

然后,当你验证了向你揭晓的事,如牧羊人,你就必须也让他人知道真相。
17既然看见,就把天使论这孩子的话传开了。
“传开”是我们一直在谈论的同一个希腊词:“叫人知道”。
牧羊人对理想的回应是典范。他们听见、看见之后,随即将所知道的传讲给其他人。其实,福音书的作者也跟牧羊人一样;他听闻这个事迹,很可能也向玛丽亚应征过,最后就把圣诞的故事记载、传给我们,叫人知道。

因此,“叫人知道”这一词,第一,用于描述神启示他自己和他的救赎计划。第二,这个过程是逐渐展开的,从让人知晓到广传讯息。我要分享最后一处经文,来突出这种分享的果效。
保罗在以弗所书6章中如此描述:
19也为我祈祷,每当我讲话时,我都可以说话,以便我无所畏惧地传播福音的奥秘。
21推基古要把我的事情并我的景况如何全告诉你们,叫你们知道。
22我特意打发他到你们那里去,好叫你们知道我们的光景,又叫他安慰你们的心。

简单说,当以弗所教会知道了福音被传播,这样的好消息会使他们鼓舞。这个效应与保罗在歌罗西书4章所说的相同
7 有我亲爱的兄弟推基古要将我一切的事都告诉你们。
8 叫他安慰你们的心。
9 他们要把这里一切的事都告诉你们。

所以,不仅必须知道好消息和传播好消息,还必须向人分享整个过程,以致所有人都能得到鼓舞。我们从圣诞日的故事中就看到了这样的效应。
20牧羊的人回去了,因所听见所看见的一切事,正如天使向他们所说的,就归荣耀与 神、赞美他。
他们一定是被所听见、所看见、所传播的的好消息所鼓舞。他们肯定鼓励了那些不能随他们同行到伯利恒,那些必须留下照顾羊群的牧羊人。这些人即使没在伯利恒的马槽,却参与了荣耀神和赞美神。

社交媒体的一个好处是,现在教会所进行的美事可以更快分享传开。过去,我们对于分享美事比较保守,认为不必大张旗鼓宣扬我们的表现,就把这些事迹和奖赏保存在天。但有时候,却导致人们有错误的印象,以为禧年堂跟其他教会不同,没做任何事情。我认为我们可以从保罗身上学习,他要求推基古弟兄分享保罗正在进行的传福音的事工,以便众人都能得到鼓舞,赞美荣耀神。

让我总结,关于“叫人知道”这一词的三件事。第一,你必须认识上帝。第二,你必须让人知道你所知道的。第三,你必须让人知道,你在让人知道,你所知道的事。

让我们再试一次我们的短剧。
你知道发生了什么事? 发生了什么事?

让我告诉你发生了什么事。救赎主在伯利恒降生。他的名字叫耶稣,弥赛亚,救主。我已经确认;当我打开圣经,亲自阅读,就应征了。从神学院到如今牧会,我在这本书卷上花了超过二十年的时间,但关于真理的事,我仍旧不断发掘,越久越多。诚如我刚才与你分享的关于“叫人知道”这个特殊的词。神希望被我们认识。要认识神,最好方法是透过耶稣基督。请你不要只相信我的话。请你也自己阅读圣经。你必会认识耶稣,亲自应征真理。

兄弟姐妹,真理必须被揭晓。若不这样,今日你不可能知道真理。是因为有人让你知道发生了什么事。启示就是如此启动的。若以,我不会仅仅告诉你;我还会告诉所有我认识的人。我也让你知道我在告知所有人。然后,你就可以参与我的服事,感到鼓舞,并赞美荣耀神。

14在至高之处荣耀归与神,在地上平安归与祂所喜悦的人。

【1】 https://biblehub.com/greek/strongs_1107.htm

Luke 2:8–21 (Listen)

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14   “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

(ESV)