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The Lord's Prayer Luke 11:1 - 4 pt. 1

February 9, 2020 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel According to Luke

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Luke 11:1–11:4

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Luke 11:1 - 4   Part 1  Teach Us To Pray

1 And it came about that while He was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” 2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:
            ‘Father, hallowed be Thy name.
            Thy kingdom come.

     3 ‘Give us each day our daily bread.

     4 ‘And forgive us our sins,
            For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
            And lead us not into temptation.’”

Last week you'll recall that we said Luke is going to embark on 10 chapters of mostly Jesus teaching.  Jesus time is short and He is visiting cities and villages in all of Judea, traveling towards Jerusalem, and this time is crash course time for the 12 apostles.

The section transitions with our story last week of Mary, sitting at Jesus feet, and absorbing His words.  The word about Mary that was translated as listening, she was listening, really means a deep and thorough absorption of His words.  That's why some of the translations say she was hearing.  

Both words, hearing and listening seem to fall short of the greek.  She was absorbing the words of God.  It wasn't toes in the water, it was a baptism.  She was submursed in His words.  And Jesus said she had chosen the best thing.  The top priority for christians is to hear the words of God deeply.

And this week we launch into more of that teaching.  In this chapter we'll see miracles, a demon possessed person is set free miraculously, but the storyline is not so much about the miracle as it is what Jesus teaches His disciples about the miracle.  The miracle is a talking point, the teaching is the subject matter.

And the first lesson for us after Mary's example to us, that there is nothing more important in this life than spending time with Jesus, submursed in His word, the first subject after that transition, is prayer.  Prayer.

Lesson one, God speaks to us in His Word, through His Son, and through all of His revelation, His book.  God speaks to us.  God reveals truth that cannot be found out, unless He reveals Himself.  And He has done that through many inspired authors who have written 66 inspired books, every word of which is God's holy inspired revelation.  

So lesson one, God speaks to us and we need to be like Mary.  Seated at Jesus feet.  Absorbing God's word.  All other priorities set aside.  Dedicated time with God, in His word, absorbing Him.

2 Cor. 3:18  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Mary had set all of this worlds distractions aside and she was staring into the mirror of glory.  When we absorb God's word, when we are baptised, immersed in this book, we are transformed.  That's lesson one in this section.  God speaks to us and when we absorb His word, we are transformed.

Lesson 2 is the reciprocal of lesson one.  Lesson one, God speaks to us.  Lesson 2, we speak to God.  We speak to God.  What a lofty privilege, otherworldly privilege that first, we can hear God's words, and second, we can speak to God, and He listens.  He hears us.

Perhaps we should preface that and say, He hears us when we hear Him first.  Because we learn in this book that He hears and listens to a select group of people who are His beloved children.  Those who have come out of this fallen world and who belong to Him.

Without that transaction, prayer becomes meaningless.  Empty noise in empty space going nowhere signifying nothing.  

At the sermon on the mount, at the beginning of Jesus ministry where He also teaches this same outline for prayer, a little more fleshed out than here, before He launches into this model outline of how to approach God in prayer, He mentions two groups of people who are just making noise.

5 “And when you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, in order to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Hypocrites.  Jesus is speaking here of the religious jews.  The scribes and pharisees who parade around and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners for one purpose.  To be seen by men.  They want their countrymen to know how righteous, how spiritual, how important to God they are by all their public praying.

They are paid in full.  Their reward in full is that men looking on think to themselves, my how spiritual, how Godly and religious and pious that man is.  That's it.  Nothing from God returns to them.  Their reward is the being seen by men as religious and pious and Godly.  They've fooled men into believeing that.  That's the only thing their prayers do.  Cause fools to look at fools.

Mt. 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

But "you" . . . . Who is the you here that Jesus refers to.  The you here is those who have left religious judaism behind and have followed Jesus.  Here's what the hypocrites do, and here is what you who have left the empty religiosity of judaism behind and have followed Jesus are to do that's different than them;

Go some place quiet, and secret.  Some place the on-looking world doesn't look on at your made up holiness.  Pray in secret and God, who hears real prayers from those in secret places, will hear and answer you.  God rewards real prayer, not phony baloney prayer.

Then Jesus mentions a second group of pray-ers.  The jews are on the inside.  They were God's chosen people who had benefited from the Law of God, the revelation through Moses and the prophets, and yet they still managed to concoct a false religion that God ignored.

The second group here, is everyone else.  The gentiles who have no revelation, who do not have any conception of God that aligns with His revealed truths about Himself.  Clueless gentiles.  And what is their pattern;

7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.

False religions around the globe have this in common.  Since they are praying to a god they have devised in their own minds, patterned after themselves, their prayers are rote repetitions.  Always the same.  Over and over.  Meaningless.  Lots of words going into the air, doing nothing.

You've got a prayer rug to give your knees a break and you bow down to your god, mecca, and bob up and down and say the same words over and over.  Bankrupt.  Worthless.  It's just noise going nowhere.  Well maybe it's going somewhere, because Satan seems to dig it.

Every Godless culture in every place has the same pattern.  People speaking memorized words in memorized patterns over and over again in meaningless repetitions, sometimes bobbing up and down, often doing some movements of some kind in cadance with their endless chanting of meaningless words.  All of it is noise going nowhere.

Religion at the time of Jesus was bankrupt.  So much noise, adding up to nothing.  Our world now is over it.  Culture has moved on.  All of what we call western civilization, the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and other places that had their roots in Europe and Britain, grew out of a judeo christian belief system.

Virtually all of those sections of the globe are secular now.  Godless.  The sky god is nothing but a vague memory.  In fact, in our land we're about to enact legislation to flush out the few remaining believers who would base their belief system in some ancient book, and punish them.  Corporations and money and power are all aligned with the secularist culture that says, there is no sky god and we're out of patience with anyone who says there is.

Thus, this section on prayer by Jesus is moot.  We don't bother ourselves to acknowledge some old sky god who we killed because he doesn't allow us to indulge in every kind of sin our minds can imagine.  He's gone, and almost forgotten.  

Jesus speaks to hypocrites and heathens in His preface to prayer.  We live in a culture that thinks anyone who prays is on the fringe.  Maybe put them on a watch list.  They might be trouble.  They believe in things they can't see and touch.  That's crazy and we're never sure what crazy is going to do next.

That's our context for Luke's transition into the topic of prayer.  God speaks to us, Luke 10:38 - 42, last week, and this week, we speak to God.  And Jesus is going to tell us how to do that.

1 And it came about that while He was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”

First a few words about context.  The form and skeleton of how Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray is similar, even almost identical to words that He spoke previously, at the beginning of His ministry, during the sermon on the mount.

We've already prefaced this section with words that He spoke at that place and time.  That event was nearly 3 years earlier.  This is a different time and place and context.

At the sermon on the mount, he encapsulates much of His teaching in one great sermon.  Three chapters in Matthews gospel that recount that single sermon, early in His ministry, somewhere in the region of the hills surrounding the sea of galilee.

But we are a forgetful people, and we must be taught the same things over and over.  And thus, Luke, inspired by the Holy Spirit as he writes, purposes to put this section about us speaking to God, immediately after the previous section about God speaking to us.

And Luke doesn't give us any particulars with which to designate an exact time or place.  It doesn't matter.  Sometime in those final teaching months, at some undesignated place, Jesus was doing what He always always did, spending time, in private, pouring His heart out to His Father.

And it came about that while He was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him,

His disciples are near.  They watch from a distance as Jesus speaks to His Father.  And when He is finished, one of His disciples says, can you teach us how to do that.  John taught his disciples how to pray meaningfully.  Can you teach us?

one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”

John's disciples were known to the pharisees and scribes as people who fasted and prayed.  You'll recall that the jews approached Jesus at one point and said how come your disciples don't fast and pray like John's disciples do.

At this juncture, the disciples have watched Him pray in solitude many times and one of them says, we need to learn how to do this.  Can you teach us, like John taught his disciples.

And Jesus answer to them is to re-visit the exact words that He spoke earlier in the sermon on the mount.  And here, as we launch into this section, I have to preface most briefly that different translations, different versions of the Bible have different words in this section.  Or words that are missing.

This part upsets Carl.  I'll be very brief, because I make no claim to have any expertise at all.  My method is to trust what men who are smarter than me have decided is the most original and correct.

The very oldest and best manuscripts that we have uncovered and brought to light in the area of textual criticism in the last few hundred years are what are presented to us in many of the newer translations.  

The New American Standard which I have used for my 50 years of study, the newer English Standard Version which is the current darling, and the somewhat maligned New International Version all leave out a lot of words that we believe were added by well meaning scribes to sort of flesh out the skeletal version that Luke provides at this time and place to be more aligned with the fleshier version that Matthew includes from the sermon on the mount.

The Holman Christian Standard Bible which is the official latest version from the Southern Baptists printing arm also aligns with those I've mentioned that are using the oldest manuscripts, while the New King James, which is excellent, as well as the old gold standard, the original King James version, the Authorized version, include all of the extra wording that may have been added by well meaning scribes to make the two "Lord's Prayer" sections align better.

I might add the the HCSB is the only modern translation available that translates the greek term doulos into the true meaning which is slave, every time.  And for that it gets my respect even though it seems a little wordier than I prefer.  I have stayed with the NAS all of these years.  It is faithful to the original languages and almost as succinct as the Authorized Version.  Almost.

OK, then, for our purposes, I have decided to work within the modern translations that leave out the extra words that make this more like Matthews account given earlier during the sermon on the mount.  That will disappoint Karl but he always forgives me.  In time.

As we go through this incredibly brief skeletal outline of what we should include in our prayer structure, I'll compare both versions.  You could almost argue that the fleshier version given during the sermon on the mount, to a large group of newbies as it were, includes flesh that should by this time not need to be repeated to this group of learners who have followed and listened to Jesus for the better part of 3 years.  

Let's begin then where Jesus begins.
2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:
            ‘Father, hallowed be Thy name.
            Thy kingdom come.

This is a skeletal outline.  This isn't a "prayer" in quotes that you memorize and say from memory with your brain dis-engaged because it has magical value and God desires to hear you repeat this magic prayer.

We see that in modern evangelicalism.  Not so different from what the heathens do.  Memorize these words and repeat them and God will open the heavens and give you everything you want.  Do this and good things will happen to you.  Like a Magic formula.

That reduces God to a genie in a bottle, and these words are like rubbing the lamp so the genie comes out and grants you 3 wishes.  

It's good to memorize the Lord's prayer.  Even better to encourage your little ones to memorize this prayer at the ages of 3 and 4.  They'll have it for a lifetime if you do that.  But, ultimately, what we have here is a skeleton outline of how to address God in prayer.

That outline gets fleshed out with meat differently every time you employ it.  As you read and study and immerse yourselves in God's word, the outline here gains more and more flesh.  Your mind goes to the many rooms of treasure that you have stored up as you study God's revelation about Himself.

And He said to them, “When you pray, say:
That's where we begin.  That's a huge leap for people who have been raised up in a completely secular society.  There is a God.  He hears.  You can speak to Him.  Jesus says that's what prayer is.  When you pray;  speak.  Say things.  Talk to God.  Out loud.  The disciples knew Jesus was praying and knew He had finished because He spoke to His Father out loud.

Now then, before we go any further we need to qualify what we've just said.  Isaiah 59:1,2 says;  
     1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not so short
            That it cannot save;
            Neither is His ear so dull
            That it cannot hear.
     2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
            And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear.

You can pray all you want and if sin is not removed, it's like talk to the hand.  Mormons are great prayers.  They're sort of famous for it.  But their Jesus doesn't forgive sin.

God says I can do it.  I'm very capable of doing what you ask.  But first we have to deal with sin.  Sin separates us from God.  

Prayer is talking to God.  Don't bother if your sin is unforgiven.  His ear can hear, His arm can reach, but it doesn't if sin is separating you and God.  That little qualifier.  Sin blocks your prayers to God.  

2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:
            ‘Father, hallowed be Thy name.

Father, is the word that Jesus says to call God.  Pater.  We still use the root word in our word paternal.  If I say my paternal grandfather, I mean the grandfather who is my father's father.  The word has the idea of progenitor.  I came from Andy who came from his father and so on back as far as you can go.  

One of the geneologies goes all the way back to Adam the son of God.  God made us.  God is our father.  But He also made everything that is.  If He is called the Father of lights, it's a reference to the fact that God made the stars.  

So we address God in a rather familial way.  Father.  But then comes the immediate balance to the term Father.  hallowed be Thy name.

He is my Father, but I don't call him pops.  I'm uncomfortable with the hippie generation Jesus movements that I lived through that want to call God dad.  Even though the Bible beckons us to say abba, father.  

That's a term of endearment that a very young child calls their father.  It's a very humble, dependent term.  My little ones called me dad, my grandbabies call me grandpa.  All of those terms are a little more humbly dependent than how a teen-ager refers to dad as more of an equal, less dependent than a little child.  

Our term here is the greek for the aramaic abba.  We cry out to God as Father like a dependent child calls out to daddy.  The term is intimate.  But it is immediately balanced with the next word;  hallowed  hallowed be Thy name.

That word is hagiazo.  And it means to seperate something, to sanctify something as set apart to be holy.  In this case God is set apart because He IS Holy.

Hagiazo be thy name.  Set apart from everything else that is, in holiness, is your name.  The word hallowed is obsolete.  We don't understand anymore what it means.  It might be used a little derisively these days when someone talks about these hallowed halls.  Some building that is set apart from the run of the mill.  Special importance.

That's a far cry from how the original readers and hearers would understand the word hagiazo.  God is set apart in holiness from everything else that is.  He is Father of everything that exists and dwells separated in Holiness from all that is.

Now, you're saying, if He's my father, I'm in a pretty highly esteemed family.  I'm pretty important by association.  And that is true, IF you are forgiven, if you dwell in Christ and Christ dwells in you, then God is your Father and you truly are, by adoption, His son.

He is only approachable in His holiness if our fallen state of sinfulness is removed as far as the east is from the west by the blood of His Son, Jesus.  If that transaction has taken place, and you belong to Him, He truly is your Father.  You can approach the God who dwells in unapproachable light in the perfection and righteousness, not your own, but paid for and given to you by the Lord Jesus.

In the jewish worship environment, in the temple, God was removed from the people by all these different levels of ceremonial separation.  The court of the gentiles.  That's as far as they can come.  Then the court of the women.  That's as close as they can come.  Then the Holy Place, and inner room.  Then the Holy of Holies behind a thick curtain of separation that only the high priest entered once a year.

When Jesus was crucified, the curtain was torn in two.  Because of removal of sin, because we are in Christ, and have His perfection accounted unto us, the separation from God is removed.  We call out to Holy God, in Christ, as Abba, Father.

Now then, before we move just a little bit further, let's consider what the Sermon on the Mount version of this skeleton for a proper prayer says thus far in comparison.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
The difference between the best original texts is the term "who art in heaven".
Why would Jesus put that in at the SotM and not include it here.  We don't know, do we.  Anything we might say is just conjecture.  Perhaps the audience dictated the difference.

Perhaps these disciples only need the bare bones outline, while the SotM audience needed to have a little more fleshed out.  To the original hearers the minds picture is of a terraced creation where under the earth is below our terrace, and heaven is up above us past the firmament.

That works well enough for any of our purposes.  Like telling a 3 year old where babies come from.  Elaboration; uneeded.  But in our modern times, we have learned with telescopes as our eyeball extensions that we are just a tiny rock locked into gravity orbitting around the sun which is just a rather ordinary star within a universe of millions of other stars.  And that's just in our galaxy which is apparently a tiny galaxie among galaxies.

So when we add the part from the SotM, "who art in heaven" what we might think of is that God is beyond the immensities of all the galaxies, unseen.  Heaven is actually every place else, except here.  This rock.  Earth.  All the rest is heaven, including dimensions our telescopes have not shown us.

And science actually helps us now, in our understanding of what Jesus is teaching these men to say.  The next phrase makes ultimate sense.  

Thy kingdom come.

In all the immeasurable universes and galaxies that we can now see with our sophisticated eyeball extensions, amazing images of incomprehendable vastness, God is beyond that firmament.

But, He only has trouble with one tiny rock that is in rebellion.  Earth.  Our rock.  In all the vastness of immeasurable distances and galaxies, it's only this rock that is in rebellion against the God who made it and owns it.

You say, how do you know that!  Aha!  We do need Matthew's version after all.
Jesus says, Thy kingdom come . . . same as here . . . but then He tells us something we wouldn't know if all we had was this version in Luke's gospel

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.  God's will is apparently carried out in every place, in all of heaven, His will is done, with one tiny exception.  Earth.  Earth is in rebellion.  This little rock in all the galaxies, all the universes, immeasurable distances that we can now see and barely fathom, and heaven beyond that firmament which we have not seen.  

Everywhere that is, God's will is carried out.  Except one tiny planet, one little rock flying through space where sin and rebellion against God takes place.

But, in this book, not knowable except the Creator revealed it and told us, is the story of this planet's rebellion, and also how that rebellion will be crushed, and this world will be re-taken by the creator, God.

When you pray, Thy Kingdom Come, what you're asking for is that God would crush the rebellion of this place, judge the evil, and re-take His authority to reign, on this planet, in this place.  You're asking God to come and do something cataclysmic.  The Kingdom come means, Your authority to reign, as opposed to Satan, who now reigns, and rules this rebellious planet and captures all of it's people who are born in sin that he introduced to them, crush that rebellion and come and rule here in this place.  

This entire book from beginning to end, from Genesis, the beginnings to Revelation, when the heavenly firmaments are torn asunder and God appears in the revelation of His Son in glory, everything from Genesis to Revelation is captured in those three words that Jesus told us to ask of His Father, the progenitor of everything.

Thy Kingdom come.  The whole book is about that day when Jesus returns in glory and crushes the rebellion and takes back this earth and rules here, like He rules every other place.  

All of the prophets, all of the stories, everything that God caused and God did including the cross and the resurrection all comes down to those three words.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy authority to reign as opposed to Satan's in this place, come.  

Come and crush the rebellion.  Come and judge and remove all of the evil.  Come and rule this creation, this world.  Come and show us the lush gardens, the perfection of this world, with you as it's ruler instead of the usurper, Satan.

Thy Kingdom Come.  I want you to think about what you're asking for, each and every time you pray those three words.  And according to Jesus, that's our first request.  That's where this prayer begins after we acknowledge who we are, His creation dependent on Him, and How set apart and Holy He is to whom we are adressing our prayer.

Come and crush the rebellion and rule this world!  Come in Righteousness and judge the wickedness.  Come and crush the rebellion.  Come and rule this world!

That's a glorious truth to understand.  Life-changing.  I can't tell you how often I would be driving out to work, early in the morning, listening to KNPR which personifies the secular world's hatred and rebellion against Holy God, and I would reach down and flip off the radio, and launch into this prayer, knowing fully well what I am asking for.

God, come and crush these evil people who hate you, who are shaking their angry little fists at you in hatred.  They hate you.  They hate your book.  They hate your people.  They only do evil.  And it seems as though the old evil is sort of passe.  Now we seem to be branching out and magnifying evil beyond anything this poor fallen earth has had to endure so far.

Thy Kingdom Come.  It's a good prayer.  Come in your Holiness and win!  Come and crush evil.  Come and rule.  Come and cause your will to be done here like it is every other place that is.

You say, are you sure you want to pray that Jim.  You're not so hot yourself, mister.  You sure you're not going to be crushed with the rest of the rebellers?

You're absolutely right.  I've got big problems going on.  I'm far from perfect.  Guilty guilty guilty a thousand times guilty except for what Paul wrote to the people at Colossae.

Col. 3:1 - 4 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Practical truth;  I sin.  A lot.  Daily.  Hourly.  Positional truth;  I have died and my life is hidden with Christ in God.  I am in Christ.  And on this day that we're praying for,  Thy Kingdom Come, this verse tells me that when Christ is revealed, when the firmament is torn asunder and Christ is revealed, I'm going to be there with Him.  In Glory.  

The reason we call the Gospel the good news is because the gospel is the story that tells us how we can come out of this rebellious world that is in conflict with the Creator, and how our sins can be removed, and how we can belong to Him, how we can become restored to our Father in heaven, how we can flee from judgement and be on God's side.

This world is condemned.  The good news, the gospel, is that we can come out of the condemnation and be restored to our heavenly Father.  The sin that alienated us and separated us from God can be forgiven and removed.  Jesus purchased that for us on the cross.  He died for our sins.

When we pray;  Thy Kingdom Come we're agreeing with God that this world belongs to Him and we long to be with Him, in this world, with Him ruling over it.  Paradise restored.  Rebellion crushed.  Evil judged.  Glory of God, regained in this world.  

If you've read the end of the book, that's the end game.  That's where this is all going.  Pretty exciting stuff.  But for now, we long for His glory.  We pray, Thy Kingdom Come, Lord Jesus.  We work towards incremental gains for His kingdom.  We tell others of the Good News.  There is safety in Jesus.  Come out of this condemned world.  Flee to Jesus.