Summary: The key to the Lord’s Prayer is the word "as"
AS- The Lord’s Prayer Mt 6:5-18
Story: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. They set up their tent and fell asleep.
Some hours later, Holmes woke his faithful friend.
"Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
Watson replied, "I see millions of stars."
"What does that tell you?" asks Holmes
Watson pondered for a minute.
"Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
Astrologically speaking, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo.
Horologically speaking, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three.
Theologically speaking, it’s evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant.
Meteorologically speaking, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. “
Then after a pause, Watson says: “Well, Holmes, What does it tell you?"
Holmes was silent for a moment and then he said.
"Watson, you imbecile, someone has stolen our tent."
Watson had overlooked the blindingly obvious – and I would like to suggest that because we know the Lord’s Prayer so well, we too can overlook the blindingly obvious
We can be tempted to look for a very complicated key if we really want to understand the Lord’s Prayer
But it is much more simple than that
The key to the Lord’s Prayer is that simple two letter word AS
Forgive us our sins as we forgive others.
Why, you might ask is forgiveness of sins so important.
Last week at ATN, we looked at the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant and if you were there you might recall that in that story Jesus tells of the Unmerciful servant.
Let me read it to you in its context
21At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, "Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?"
22Jesus replied, "Seven! Come on. Try seventy times seven.
23-25"The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to settle up accounts with his servants.
As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a million pounds. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market, as this was the custom in those days with unsecured loans.
26-27"The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ’Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, cancelling his debt.
28"The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a fiver. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ’Pay
29-31"The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ’Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he
wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.
32-35"The king summoned the man and said, ’You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged
me for mercy. Shouldn’t you have been merciful to
your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’
The king was furious and threw the man in jail until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy."
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is very pointedly saying that -so far as forgiveness is concerned, you will get what you mete out
Forgive us our sins as we forgive others
If we don’t forgive others, then we are asking God to deal with our sins in the same way
Let’s just refresh our memory of the Lord’s Prayer
’Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come, your will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’
Jesus came to this earth to reconcile us to God. He died on the Cross to take away our sins
St Paul put it like this
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I
also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures . . .
1 Cor. 15:3-4 (NASB)
St Peter put it in a similar way
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for
the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit