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Luke Lesson 60 - Long Live the King!

Luke Lesson 60 - Long Live the King!

by Stephen Davey
Series: Gospel of Luke
Ref: Matthew 6:13

Your Bible translation may end The Lord’s Prayer where Stephen Davey left off in the last study in this series, but older translations include a doxology to this prayer in the Gospel of Matthew. These closing thoughts present several crucial elements of God that put our prayers and requests to Him in their proper perspective.

Transcript

Some 500 years ago, Martin Luther was asked by Peter, his personal barber, to teach him how to pray.

I’ve quoted several times from Luther’s answer, as he put together a simple lesson that followed the traditional Lord’s Prayer.

Near the end of Luther’s lesson, he wrote this to Peter:

A good barber keeps his thoughts and eyes on the razor and does not forget how far he has gotten with his shaving or cutting. If he lets his mind wander, he is likely to cut his customer’s nose or his throat. So, this prayer calls for some concentration.

I do not want you simply to recite all these words in your prayer – which would make it nothing but idle chatter, like the prayers of the rosaries and the prayers of priests and monks.

Rather, I want your heart to be stirred and guided concerning the thoughts which should be comprehended in the Lord’s Prayer.(Martin Luther, A Simple Way to Pray, published in 1535 Adapted from Martin Luther, A Simple Way to Pray (Westminster John Knox Press, reprint 2000; originally 1535), p. 29 & 32)

What are some of those thoughts that we have addressed in our study together of this prayer?

Well, it all began with a question, much like Peter the barber.

The only skill requested by the disciples, was that signature moment when they said, “Lord, teach us how to pray.”

And in less than two minutes, the Lord answered their request. He began teaching them a model prayer – not so much to mindlessly parrot, but to intentionally pattern.

In our series, we combined Luke’s account with Matthew’s gospel account as the prayer began – and here are some of the thoughts we’ve comprehended together.

Our Father – again, this is built on the idea of a family association.

We have a family association with God the Father because we’ve placed our faith in God the Son.

Prayer is a family matter. And the truth is, we need communion with our Father more than we need anything we’re asking Him to give us.

George MacDonald, an author who greatly influenced C.S.  Lewis, once wrote many years ago, “What if the main object in God’s idea of prayer is the supplying of our great and endless need of Himself? Hunger may drive the runaway child home, but he needs his mother more than his dinner. Communion with God is the one need of the soul beyond all other needs: prayer is the beginning of that communion. (Quoted in Failure: Back Door to Success, Erwin W Lutzer. (Moody Press, 1975), p. 105)

Our Father who is in Heaventhis is a reminder of His address. He is the Father of Heaven – and this is a subtle reminder that there is a devil who is the Father of Hell.

Jesus told unbelieving religious leaders in John 8:44, “You are of your father, and your will is to do the will of your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.”

Believers pray to the Father of heaven, and the world of humanity through their religions and their temples and their idols are effectively praying to the father of hell.

Our Father who is in Heaven, hallowed be Your name.

Hallowed – reverenced – exalted – be Your name; this is an invitation to reverence His attributes – everything His name represents is cause for reverence and respect and awe and worship.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. This is surrender to His authority.

How is the will of God performed in Heaven among His holy angels? Immediately. Without complaint or reservation.

So you’re praying, “Lord, I want to surrender to Your authority like the angels. Help me to obey you here on earth like the angels obey you in Heaven.”

And with that we arrive at some personal prayer requests.

First, for daily provision. Give us this day our daily bread.

We recognize that even a piece of bread is the provision of God.  Part of our problem in praying is that we’re looking for big things to happen and we overlook so many little things that He does for us every day – like a piece of bread to eat.

Then we’re taught here to pray; Forgive us our sins . . . this is for daily pardon.

Remember, this is a prayer for disciples, for saved, redeemed followers of Jesus Christ. So, this request is not about sonship, but fellowship. And that can be hindered every single day.

So this prayer for forgiveness isn’t to get you into the family of God, it’s a prayer you pray because you didn’t act like a member of the family of God.

And we daily need that kind of cleansing.

Forgive us our sins – our debts – now notice as we forgive those indebted to us.

This is where we imitate the Lord’s forgiving attitude.

Since we’ve been forgiven by God, we’re asking here that  God will help us imitate the Lord’s attitude of compassion and mercy and forgiveness.

Forgiven people should be forgiving people.

Then finally, this last phrase – Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

We not only need to imitate the Lord’s forgiving attitude, we need to admit our sinful aptitude.

This is nothing less than an admission that we need help daily.

Left alone, we’re gonna fall off the rim of the Grand Canyon and plunge into trouble. “So guide us, Lord, along that dangerous edge in life.”

And now with that, we arrive at the doxology – the benediction, so to speak – of this prayer.

Older translations included the phrase at Matthew 6:13;

For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.                 Matthew 6:13

Some New Testament scholars – and newer English translations – think the statement should be deleted, although an overwhelming number of manuscripts contain it.  (John Phillips, Exploring the Gospels: Matthew (Loizeaux Brothers, 1999), p. 116)

In fact, if you go all the way back to the Didache – a first century manual for the church – written some 30 years after the death of the Apostle Paul, this last line is included in the prayer.

I would agree with many others who support including it –

including Lenski who wrote, “there is no reason to eliminate it” and Wiersbe who writes, “this is a fitting end to such a wonderful prayer.” (R.C.H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel (Augsburg Publishing House, 1964), p. 271

Warren W. Wiersbe, On Earth As It Is In Heaven (Baker Books, 2010), p. 139)

So let’s unpack it together – there are several elements that tie everything together. It begins with the words:

For Yours is the kingdom

This is the element of prophecy

We declare in these words, John Ryle wrote in 1856, that the kingdoms of this world are the rightful property of our Heavenly Father.  (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Matthew (Baker Book House1856; reprint, 2007), p. 54)

His Son is the rightful heir to the throne of earth’s kingdoms – and this prophetically looks to that coming Millennial Kingdom when the Lord shall reign as sovereign on earth and the nations will bow before him.

At the moment, Satan seems to be in charge; but he’s a squatter . . . a usurper . . . he’s temporary.

Psalm 20 has already given the coronation shout of the coming King – verse 9; “God save the King” and Psalm 21 essentially gives the shout, “Long live the King.”

To this day, many nations in our western world have used these Psalms in their coronation ceremonies. God save the King – Long live the King.

But these ceremonies, as splendid as they are, are no match for the coming coronation of the King of Kings, in Jerusalem one day.

I have read of Queen Victoria’s coronation day. She would reign over a golden era of Great Britain, but her coronation ceremony was riddled with mistakes and miscues.

When the archbishop of Canterbury tried to put on her crown, it wouldn’t stay in place until he worked on it with some difficulty.

The coronation ring wouldn’t fit on her finger and that’s because they accidentally sized it for her little finger – and no one caught the mistake until the archbishop stood there pushing and prodding that ring onto her fourth finger. Victoria would later have to soak her hand to get the swelling down so she could get the ring off.

Later in the ceremony, a Bishop was turning pages for Queen Victoria to read aloud and agree to her duties. He accidentally turned two pages at one time and she was forced to return later on that day and stand there and read that missing page or her reign would have been in legal jeopardy.

It just reminded me that any attempt we might make at splendor and majesty and pomp and circumstance is paper mâché and cardboard compared to the future exaltation of King Jesus.

There aren’t gonna be any missed cues; the royal ring isn’t gonna be sized for the wrong finger; the crown isn’t gonna slide off accidentally.

So in this final statement we are effectively brought here to prophetically pray for that day to come when we the redeemed all shout together, “Long live the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

For Yours is the kingdom – it was rightfully Yours all along.

And that isn’t all that is rightfully His . . . the prayer continues:

for Yours in the kingdom – now notice – and the power.

There is this element of divine power

J.I Packer writers that this means His reign is within His capacity and in line with His character. (J.I. Packer, Praying the Lord’s Prayer (Crossway Books, 2007), p. 107)

Today we have kings and queens who reign but do not have the power to actually rule. They are figure-heads and symbols of ancient traditions now gone. (Wiersbe, p. 142)

They reign, but they do not rule. They have a royal position, but they do not have royal power.

But not so with King Jesus. This word for power is used by the apostle John as he sweeps us into the palace grounds of the Lord where we are standing around Him singing praise to Him along with the angels.

John writes in Revelation chapter 5;

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders and the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands …

                                    Revelation 5:11

Let me pause here to tell you that myriad means 10,000 – it was the largest unit used in the ancient Greek world. Myriads of myriads means, literally, 10,000 times 10,000. In other words, John is writing that more than 100 million angels are singing.

He goes on in verse 12 to write that they were:

Saying with a loud voice …

                                    Revelation 5:12a

Verse 9 told us they were singing, and now verse 12 says they were saying – which means, they were singing and these were the lyrics.

John writes that they were singing these lyrics with a loud voice – in the original language the words are - megale jonh – which gives us our word megaphone.

This event is amped up – we can’t imagine the acoustics; we can’t imagine this surging, glorious, majestic song of praise to our King.

What are we all singing?

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.

That’s who we’re praying to today.

Phillip Keller writes in his commentary on this phrase, “Do we really believe this [about Him]? Do we truly recognize Him as the ultimate power behind the scenes, who dictates and determines the whole course of human history? Do we comprehend even feebly, that everything that exists does so by virtue of His [divine] will? (Phillip Keller, A Layman Looks at the Lord’s Prayer (Moody Press, 1976), p. 149)

Even you – and me. We exist because He planned us – He wanted us – to be alive – and He saved us so that we would know Him and walk with Him as we head toward that future kingdom and that future song where we will sing this song with 100 million angels around His throne.

For Yours is the power – further on here – and the glory.

This is the element of priority

We’re making a statement here that God alone deserves all glory. Now we need to be reminded of this because we constantly attempt to steal it from Him.

Our attempt at self-glory is theft.

One author refers to this as the true definition of vanity – it’s a facet of our pride. He writes, “Vain people put on a show with their features, with their physical shape, with their clothing, with their skills, with their position, with their influence, with their homes, with their intellect. With their acquaintances, with their influence, whatever they are most proud of, wherever they most expect applause, wherever they feel most resentful when they do not receive it.” (Packer, p. 114)

That is nothing less than an attempt to steal God’s glory.

Paul would write to the Corinthians. “What do you have that you did not receive.” (1 Corinthians 4:7). Everything we have is God’s gift.

James writes, “Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father.” (James 1:17)

So this prayer is reminding us to come into His presence and say, “Lord, to you alone belongs all praise and honor and glory.”

And how long does He deserve it? How long will He own the right to kingdoms and power and glory? The prayer makes sure we don’t forget it – the next word spells it out –  “forever!”

For Yours in the kingdom and the power and the glory – forever!

This is the element of permanence

His kingdom and His glory lasts forever.

  • Where is the Ming Dynasty?
  • Where are the Mongolians?
  • Where are the Pharaohs?
  • Where is the Babylonian Empire, the Greek Empire, the British Empire?
  • Where are the Aztecs and Incas?

The same place. They have been swept into the dustbin of human history. They have come and gone.

And should enough time elapse, so shall go the America’s; the Russia’s; the Asia’s – temporary kingdoms. Temporary kings. Temporary rulers and a temporary reign.

Have you ever thought about the fact that everything about the foundation of your joy and hope and assurance and future is based on this element of permanence.

And it’s as if Jesus wants us to say the word “forever”.

Anything and anyone related to Him can have this word attached – the Christian life and future, one author wrote, is built on the eternal.  (Wiersbe, p. 145)

  • Our eternal God is our refuge (Deuteronomy 33:27)
  • We rest on His eternal word (Psalm 119:89)
  • We are going to see His eternal glory (1 Peter 5:10)
  • We will enjoy God’s presence forever (Psalm 23:6)
  • We’ve been promised a new, eternal body (2 Cor. 5:1)
  • God’s love for you will last forever (Psalm 13:6)
  • And because of Jesus Christ’s work on our behalf, the writer of Hebrews says, “We have been made perfect – forever” (Hebrews 10:14). (Ibid)

What do you say about that? What do you say – Amen! That’s all you can say!

And that’s the word that wraps it all up. Yours in the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Amen. 

This is the element of partnership

It’s an agreement with the Lord to pursue everything you just prayed. We’re joining our resolve to His revelation. He said it – and now we wanna live it.

The word amen is the transliteration of the Greek word amhn - and it means, “truly” or “certainly” – “it’s the truth”.

The Lord often said, “Amen, amen” translated: “Truly, truly” – this is the truth, this is the truth.

When Moses led the nation of Israel in accepting God’s covenant, they responded by saying Amen repeatedly. The apostle Paul used “amen” five times when he wrote his letter to the Roman believers. (Wiersbe, p. 146)

We often say amen in the assembly as we agree with what’s going on.

There’s nothing wrong with saying amen in the assembly. It might keep everybody awake, including the preacher.

I don’t discourage it, as long as it doesn’t become a distraction, or a competition. You don’t get points for your section – you don’t get to leave early if you give me three amens.

In that glorious vision of heavenly praise I’ve referred to already, John the apostle sees this company of 100’s of millions of angels and all the redeemed singing – and he adds this little addendum – he sees four living creatures just rotating around the throne of God saying, “Amen”.

The tense of the verb indicates they just keep saying it. Their occupation is to say amen. So all the universe is singing along with the redeemed and 100 million angels, and all the while these four creatures just keep saying, “Amen.”

To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb;

  • Be blessing – amen!
  • And honor – amen!
  • And glory – amen!
  • And power – amen!
  • Forever and ever – amen . . . amen.

You see, this prayer brings that kind of perspective from up there, down here.

It invites us to live in an “Amen” state of mind – not just praying it but believing it and then living these truths:  

  • That to our God belongs all the kingdoms of this world – amen – it’s the truth!
  • That God alone is exercising divine power even now – amen – it’s the truth!
  • That although He is invisible, He is invincible – amen, it’s the truth!
  • That He alone is deserving of all power and glory, both now and forever – and forever – and forevermore.

What can you say to that, but it’s true . . . amen and amen.

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