JESUS’ LOVE IN CHINESE CHARACTERS
Traditional Chinese characters, unlike the English alphabet, are made up of pictures and symbols. They are a great vehicle to tell stories of God’s love. As we explore these Chinese characters, may you be encouraged to know He loves you and wants you to know and respond to His love for you.
Some of us might think that Jesus is a God only for westerners or those who are more “English-educated”. Through this simple presentation, we hope you might see that Jesus loves the whole world — including the Chinese people. He has left a trail of clues in our language to show us that.
Traditional Chinese characters, unlike the English alphabet, were made up of pictures and symbols. It was the perfect and ideal vehicle to tell stories of God’s love. As we explore the meaning behind these Chinese characters, may you be encouraged to know He loves you and wants you to know and respond to His love for you.
This character 造 (Zào) means “Create”. It is made up of two parts. The first part 告 means “Speaking words” and the second part 辶 means “Moving”.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-2)
The Bible tells us that in the very beginning, God’s Spirit was moving over the earth. He created the universe and all that is in it with the spoken Word.
『起初， 神创造天地。地是空虚混沌；深渊上一片黑暗； 神的灵运行在水面上。神说：“要有光！”就有了光。』（创世记 1:1-3）
The 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).
God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
God’s heart has always been to bless us! God created the first man, Adam, in the Garden of Eden. Adam was created in God’s image and appointed as keeper of the garden. God walked and talked with him in perfect relationship. Blessed is the one (一 口) who walked with God (神) in the garden (田). That was the true blessing and happiness that man had at the beginning.
But we just need to take one look at the world around us to see that things are no longer that way. Instead of blessing, there is pain and war. Not only has our perfect relationship with God been broken, our relationships with each other are also broken.
『 神看他所造的一切都很好。』（创世记 1:31）
神的心意一直都是要祝福我们！神在伊甸园中创造了第一个人亚当。亚当是按照 神的形象被创造的，并赋予看守园子的使命和责任。在完美和谐的关系中， 神与他同行并交谈。在花园（田）中与 神（神）同行的人（一口）有福了。那是人类被造之时所拥有的真正的福气和幸福。
The third character is 魔 (Mó) “The Devil”.
This is a grim reminder of the first introduction of the devil in the Bible.
Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1)
He had a part to play in the fall of mankind. It is apparent that 鬼 (Guǐ) Satan is in the midst of two 木 (Mù) trees. The two trees in 魔 refer to the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’ and the ‘Tree of Life’ that were in the Garden of Eden. God had given Adam and his wife, Eve, the freedom to eat from any tree in the garden except for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This command was for their own good, so that the blessedness they enjoyed with God would be preserved.
But Satan sowed doubt in Eve’s heart, and she and Adam chose to disobey God. That disobedience, which the Bible calls sin, brought death to mankind. Sin separates Man from God.
But our God is a God who saves!
『在耶和华神所造野地所有的活物中，蛇是最狡猾的。蛇对女人说：“ 神真的说过，你们不可吃园中任何树上的果子吗？”』（创世记 3:1）
The fourth character is 船 (Chúan).
In the famous Bible account of Noah and the Flood, God gave us an example of His saving love for those who put their hope in Him.
On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark…then the Lord shut him in. (Genesis 7:13,16)
The eight persons (八口) were Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. They showed their trust and hope in God by building a vessel (舟), the ark, and entering it as God had commanded them to. By so doing, they were saved from the flood, which destroyed all the evil in the world at that time.
Today, our loving Father-God gives us a way to accept His love and put our trust in Him.
You were ransomed . . . not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
As Christians, we believe that Jesus the Lamb 羊 (yang), died for us. Jesus is the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). 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.
The 羊 (yáng）in the upper half of the character also provides a covering for 我 (wo) me in the lower part of the character. I am made righteous under the Lamb — the Lamb who covers me made me righteous.
Today, you can have full assurance that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for you! Read on to find out how you can receive this free gift.
作为基督徒，我们相信羔羊耶稣（羊）为我们而死。耶稣是除去世人罪孽的羔羊（约翰福音 1:29）。“義” (Yì)字的组成正符合了这个意义。事实上，我（Wǒ）这个字是由“手”和“枪”两个字组成的。由此可见，这个字整体描绘的是人手所刺的羔羊。
If you want to receive Jesus into your life to be your Lord and Saviour, here’s how to do so:
Acknowledge you’re a sinner who needs God
Admit sincerely from your heart that you have sinned against God, and there’s nothing — no good works or accomplishments — that you can do to earn salvation
Believe in Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross
Trust that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you, took your punishment for sin, and you are now forgiven.
Confess Jesus Christ as Lord & Saviour
You can say this prayer below to tell God what’s in your heart. He doesn’t just hear your words; He hears what’s in your heart.
Dear Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that You died to take the punishment for my sin, and that You rose from the dead and are alive today. Thank You for loving me, saving me and giving me new life. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. From now on, help me to know You, love You, and follow Your plan for my life. Amen!
If you’ve prayed the prayer, or if you have questions about Jesus or Christianity, drop us a message so we can connect with you and help you in your next steps. We invite you to join us in our next run of Christianity Explored — a 7-session course to help you discover who Jesus is and how you can have a right relationship with Him. Do join us for our services too!