A Few Thoughts From: Matthew 6. What has been called “The Lord’s Prayer” is more aptly described as the Lord’s “model prayer.” The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Jesus replied with this model prayer.
- “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” You will note that we have Father in heaven, one that loves and cares for us in our time of sorrow, concern, and even joy. He is in heaven where He can see all that can be seen; more than that, He is in the heavenly realm where all glory is to be found and, consequently, His name is to be hallowed (made and kept holy) because His nature is holy.
- “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The word “kingdom” refers to God’s rule, reign. Was there ever a time that God did not rule or reign? No, but the word kingdom is used in a different sense here. It could refer to the church (Matthew 16:18-19), or it could refer to the consummation of time (1 Corinthians 15:24-28) when God’s spiritual and holy rule is over all those who belong to Him (cf. 2 Timothy 2:19). In the Corinthian passage, however, the kingdom will be delivered up to the Father, so it must be the church that is referred to here. When God’s kingdom comes, those who belong to Him who is over all, they will be the ones doing God’s will on this earth. The life they life will be a life that brings glory to God’s name. The life Christians live will be a light in a dark world. There is no darkness in heaven, but there is plenty “down” here! What better way to bring light into the world but to emulate Him who is light (1 John 1:5)?
- “Give us this day our daily bread.” There is an attitude of heart that depends on the Lord for physical sustenance. It may be different today for us than for them – because of the day laborer approach that many survived on, but still, the importance of dependence on the Lord is not to be minimized.
- “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” The golden rule is never out of place with a child of God. When we lose sight of what we have been forgiven, will the Lord lose sight of His forgiveness toward us?
- “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” The Lord never tempts us (James 1:12), but we allow ourselves to be tempted when the road signs the Lord puts us are set to the side because we are going too fast (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13).
- “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”. This phrase is not found in the ESV, NIV, or RSV, but it is in the NKJV and the NASV (though in brackets). The NET text critical note says that the phrase is in most Greek manuscripts though there are some who eliminate the phrase in some modern translations because of the few “better witnesses.”
- Because there are at least six variations to how 6.13 should end, some text critical scholars are of the opinion that it was probably a liturgical addition, and not part of the Greek text.
- Whether this is so or not, I am in no position to say; I am of the opinion (only slightly educated) that the NKJV has merit for its inclusion. With that in mind, what shall I say about the phrase? At the outset of this model prayer the Lord taught His disciples to pray for the kingdom to come; here we read that the kingdom belongs to the Lord. The kingdom, in this regard, I would suggest, is not to be limited to the New Testament church (though it is included), but it is the rule and reign of God and His rule/reign will last and be glorified forever.