27 Nov Jesus’ Love In Chinese Characters
In our second instalment of our sermon series No Other Name, 3:16 Church saw the stunning revelation of God’s love in the Chinese characters. Being a Singaporean Chinese growing up in Singapore, I have always heard that Jesus is a God for the western people. So it was especially reaffirming for me to know that Jesus indeed loved the whole world, including the Chinese people.
It was brilliant and eye-opening to see that God had left His signature in the written characters of languages, particularly the Chinese language! Chinese characters, unlike French or English, were made up of pictures and symbols. It was the perfect and ideal vehicle to tell stories of God’s love. It is now exceptionally heart-warming for Chinese believers to not only know and understand the meaning behind the Chinese characters, but also be reminded of Him daily. As language is a part of our everyday life, this post can help us to see the Chinese language in a new light. May you be encouraged.
I will share four of the Chinese characters that distinctly communicate Jesus’s love for us.
1. 造 (Zào) – Create
This character 造 (Zào) means “Create”. It is made up of two parts. The first part 告 means “Speaking words” and the second part is 辶, means “Moving”.
In the mind of a believer of Jesus Christ, he is immediately transported to the scene of Creation. In Genesis 1:1 & 2, “The Spirit of God was ‘moving’ over the surface of the waters. Then God ‘said’, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.”
It was love that motivated God to create! What a blessed thought today to know that God created the universe with the spoken Word and the Spirit! Now this brings me to the second character.
2. 福 (Fú) – Blessed
This second character 福 (Fú), comprised of four other characters, is an iconographic record of the blessedness of man. Blessed is one (一口) who walked with God (神，礻) in the garden (田).
What a stunning revelation of the blessed state of Adam, the first man ever created! God created him in His own image and appointed him the keeper of the Garden of Eden. He had fellowship with God his Creator, glorifying and enjoying Him. This was the true happiness which man had at the beginning. It is my prayer that 3:16 Church will bring great blessings to Singapore with the love of Jesus!
3. 魔 (Mó) – The Devil
Alas! The blessedness of Adam was short-lived! 魔 (Mó) means “The Devil”. He was the cause of the fall of mankind. It is apparent that 鬼 (Guǐ) Satan is in the midst of two 木 (Mù) trees. The two trees in the characters refer to the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’ and the ‘Tree of Life’.
This is a grim reminder of the first introduction of the devil in Scriptures.
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” – Genesis 3:1 NKJV
We know that Adam and Eve took and ate of the forbidden fruit and, with that act, brought death to mankind. Sin separates Man from God. Could there be a total reconciliation? Yes! Praise God for the next character, which revealed the good news of Jesus died for all sinners!
4. 義 (Yì) – Righteousness
義 is the traditional form of 义 which means ‘Righteousness’ in Chinese. The top half of the character is 羊 (Yáng) which means “Lamb” and the bottom half of the character is 我 (Wǒ) which means “I”.
As Christians, we believe that Jesus the Lamb, died for us. Jesus is the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Indeed, this character 義 (Yì) tells us just that! In fact, the character 我 (Wǒ) or ‘I’ is made up of two characters, namely “hand” and “spear”. Thus, we can see that this character as a whole depicts the Lamb that was speared by man’s hand.
Today, you can have full assurance that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for you! All you need to do is to believe and accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour and God. He promises to wash away all your sins and give you eternal life! May the love of Jesus fill 3:16 Church and everyone in Singapore!
3:16 Church, Singapore