The sermon on the mount is Christ’s description of life in the Kingdom He will establish on earth in the Millennium.
In our text, Jesus instructs His disciples about prayer, commonly called “the Lord’s Prayer” (more accurately it is the disciple’s prayer1). Jesus would not pray “Forgive us our debts” since He had nothing to be forgiven for. This is a “model prayer” for Jewish disciples awaiting the kingdom.
Many churches formally recite this prayer every Sunday. However, no one in the N.T. prayed this prayer after the pattern of Jesus. It is not a prayer intended for a N.T. Christian to pray verbatim.
This prayer concerns the coming kingdom dispensationally.
Conflicts in this prayer with the dispensation of grace:
- Not time for the kingdom to come (v. 10). This will be the prayer of Jews in the tribulation period.
“Thy kingdom come” is “the kingdom of heaven.” The kingdom of God is within us (Lk. 17:20-21) as opposed to the kingdom of Heaven announced in Mt. 3:2; 4:17. The church is not seeking “the kingdom of heaven”—It is waiting the sound of the trumpet, and the rapture.
When the Kingdom does come, God’s will, will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
2. Praying for daily bread will be essential in the tribulation period when there will be widespread famines and the Jews will be forced to live in the wilderness (Mt. 24:16-18; Rev. 12:13-14).
3. The basis of forgiveness is how we forgive others (vs. 12, 14, 15 cf. Eph. 4:32).
4. No one has to ask God not to lead them into temptation (v. 13). God never leads any man into temptation (cf. James 1:13). This was a request for God to keep them from “the hour of temptation” (Rev. 3:10). The word “temptation,” has to do with testing. Israel’s wandering in the wilderness was call “temptation” (Ps. 95:8). The testing of Abraham was called a “temptation” (Gen. 22:1). Whatever the temptation may be, they are requesting that God deliver them. It probably involves the temptation to take the mark of the Beast.
5. The deliverance from “evil” (v. 13) is a prayer to be delivered from the wrath of their enemies. The evil may be the Antichrist, or some evil calamity that occurs in the Tribulation.
I. The RUDIMENTS of prayer (vs. 5-8).
- The practice—“When thou prayest…”(v.5),NOT“if thou prayest.” It is assumed God’s people will pray. It is the first evidence of spiritual life in a new Christian (Acts 9:11).
- The direction (v. 6).
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