When Jesus Sat Down… Further Thoughts
As we move through the Sermon on the Mount, we have to make certain decisions about what to include and what to leave out. This is one of the toughest things to do in planning sermons, because it’s the Bible—shouldn’t we talk about everything?!
One of the things we will not get to spend a great deal of dedicated time on is the Lord’s Prayer. While Bob is getting us started on chapter 6 this week, we will need to move quickly afterwards to wrap up the sermon in a timely manner. Let’s review the Prayer:
6:9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Jesus spends much of his teaching time in the Gospels challenging our understanding of what it is to be a true child of God. In these few verses, he calls us to the table on how we should pray and for what. When we pray, we need to acknowledge that God is supremely holy and that there is nothing like Him. We need to wrestle with the notion that he is working a sovereign plan and bringing about something special. His Kingdom is not limited by geographical lines or even by the bounds of eternity. In His Kingdom—He rules, not us. We should be confronted by the fact that everything we have is a blessing directly from Him; He gives us what we need to survive. Not even air is a guarantee. We should pray as those that have been forgiven of our sin, and Jesus assumes that we will forgive those around us when they wrong us or stand in our debt. Children of God need to lean on their eternal Father. We need his guidance and intervention so that we do not fail.
We need to further be reminded that our forgiveness should be freely given, because we were given that forgiveness at a very high cost. The mark of a transformed heart is the way it loves—i.e. forgives.