Friday, March 22, 2013

The Lord's Prayer Part II - Talking to the Father about the Family, Part 58 of 61

TEXT: "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen" (Matthew 6:9-12).

IDEA: The Lord’s Prayer needs a finish.

PURPOSE: To help listeners understand why the last part of the Lord’s Prayer has been supplied at a later date.

There is no reliable evidence that the doxology, “Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory” that ends the Lord’s Prayer was ever actually spoken by Jesus.

It isn’t found in any of the oldest and most authoritative manuscripts of Matthew’s gospel.

Ancient Christian writers appear to have had no knowledge of it.

I. How, then, might these words have come to be part of the prayer as we know it?

When the Lord’s Prayer came to be used in public worship, it was thought fitting and then traditional to add a doxology. It is possible that a scholar wrote these words into the margin of a copy of Matthew’s gospel as a worship guide and then later writers copied the words into the text.

When the prayer was used in public worship, it seemed to have an unsatisfying ending: “Deliver us from the Evil One.” This is a valid ending, but it’s a bit negative.

II. Why do you think these particular words were added to the prayer?

The words remind us that what we ask for in the Lord’s Prayer is not up to us to answer. We are praying that our “Father in heaven” will accomplish what we pray for in the prayers.

We are asking Him to answer the requests He has told us to make.

It is the Father’s kingdom we ask for.

It is His power behind what we ask for as we make the requests.

The requests are for His glory.