GROWTH AND SUCCESS IN LIFE – Lessons Learned at the Feet of Jesus – Sermon on Mount (Part 23)
The High and True Standard of God and His Kingdom is now developed by Jesus. Rather than listening to the phony teachers of the Law, the guardians of the Law who twisted Truth for their selfish interests, Jesus now lays out what standards are in harmony with a correct understanding of the Old Testament. The greatest sequel to this instruction is that Jesus in all he was and was to do came not to set aside or annual the Law but to fulfill it. In this following section of six antitheses, Jesus places his own authority over the misinterpretations of the religious norm of His Day…’It is said, but I say…’ (Matthew 5:21, 27, 31, 33, 38 and 43). Separating the counterfeit from the Real.
The gauntlet is down, and the standard is set now threefold:First, righteousness must be greater than the religious leaders (5:20); Secondly, a life of perfection which is like God the Father (5:48), and now, third, righteous acts not to be seen by men (6:1).
|Jesus now instructs His followers in how we should pray. Not as babbling empty words to impress others but privately and behind closed doors. Now to the substance of HOW to PRAY. Matthew 6:9. “This then is how you should pray.” First, to our Heavenly Father, who is family and near as our Eternal Father. Second, as residing in heaven. Third, and is Holy.|
|This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, holy is your name. Matthew 5:9.|
1. What’s in a Name? In short, in the Bible, everything. When a man’s status changed, he sometimes took on a new name. God’s name is God Himself revealed in all his works. El Shaddai – mighty God. Elohim – His plurality and fullness. Adonai – God as Master. YHWH (Jehoval) – I am that I am – Exod 3:13 – meaning God is to us everything that He is and that we need.
2. The Meaning of Holiness. God is wholly other. He is sacred, perfect, righteous, pure, all goodness. This is perfect moral integrity, freedom from sin, worthy of worship. It is an extension of His residence in heaven.
Something or someone is made holy when the Almighty, who is Himself set apart from all creation, sets it apart for a special use or purpose. God is holy because He is more “set apart” from His creation than anything or anyone else. Basically, God’s holiness is a function of His transcendence. Because He is high and exalted, nothing in creation can match the Lord in His glory, power, and purity (Ex. 15:11; Isa. 33:5). R.C. Sproul.
3. Putting together ‘Holy is His Name’. This is the follower of Jesus, unfettered by the condemnation of his sin, restored by grace through Jesus, and now freed up in his joy and eagerness to follow and worship God, whose name is family, is near, is far, and to be adored, honored and glorified.
This, then is how we pray: to the One who is introduced through Jesus, who is our Father and creator, both near and with us without interruption, and far and holy, and interceding for us in the heavenlies. Our prayers are heard by Him, we are known by Him, and we are restored as ones made in the image of God.
Talk about full circle! From the earth to heaven, and he is as near as our prayers! God’s kingdom and will for us next week.
— John Moore