Thursday, June 9, 2016

Luke 11:1-4

Luke 11:1-4
And it became in His being in some place while praying, as He stopped, some of His disciples spoke to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” And He said to them, “Whenever you should pray, say this.  Father, let your name be holy.  Let your kingdom come.  Give us our daily bread each day.  Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive them to all who owe us.  And you should not lead us into temptation.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Jesus’ disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray.  Before we get to the meatier ending, we should spend a cursory amount of time on the necessary beginning.  First of all, not that Jesus teaches them to address the Father with personal reverence.  He is our Father.  He is our spiritual Daddy.  But He is also holy.  Remember that in the Bible the word holy means “different” or “separate.”  That’s why we address the Father with personal reverence.  He is close to us and He is in relationship with us.  But He is still not like us.  Second, notice that Jesus teaches the disciples to not be afraid of reminding God of their needs.  We need things like bread and the Kingdom of the Lord.  It’s okay for us to express them before the Father.  It isn’t that He doesn’t already know that we need them.  But often human beings just need to be heard.

When you think of God, do you think in terms of personal reverence?  How do you revere God personally?  What needs do you often place before God?

Second Thought:

I love to pause on the line in the Lord’s prayer that deals with forgiveness.  So often we say this line and teach that it is a reminder of us to forgive others because God has forgiven us.  But, that’s not really how the Greek reads.  The Greek reads that these are simultaneous tasks.  We don’t forgive because we’ve been forgiven; we forgive because that’s what righteous people do!  Now, don’t get me wrong.  We do follow God’s lead and we certainly could not have the ability to be righteous if He did not empower us to be so.  But so often we think in our minds, “Oh, I have to forgive them or else I’m not following God.”  That’s wrong, and that’s the point I’m trying to make.  This isn’t a verse to guilt us into reluctantly having a forgiving personality.  This is a verse teaching us that a person who has adopted God’s righteousness looks forward to receiving the opportunity to forgive.  We ask God to forgive us and we are already in the habit of forgiving others.

Do you forgive reluctantly?  Do you forgive freely?  What circumstances cause you to be more reluctant or more free with your grace?

Third Thought:

The last petition is one that usually draws a smirk out of me.  As he writes this, Luke uses the subjunctive mood.  “You should not lead us into temptation.”  If you read it one way, it sounds like a parent warning a child that they shouldn’t be doing something that they are contemplating doing.  Of course, that’s not how Luke means it here.  Who are we to think that we could tell God what to do?  Furthermore, who are we to think that something God does is not righteous?  No, this verse is more of a reminder to ourselves.  If God is leading us somewhere, we should know that it isn’t temptation.  The contrapositive is also necessarily true.  If we are being tempted, then we should know that it isn’t God who is leading us.

When are you tempted?  Are you ever tempted to think that God is leading you into temptation?  What makes something a temptation for you?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 11:5-13
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