Summary: A sermon focusing on For Thine is
For Thine is
Douglas Vincent tells the story of making a shut-in visit for the first time. He was scared to death. What could I do to help them? They were about to die and could barely understand me. Besides being scared, he said, I did not know if it was worth the time to go out to their house. But I decided to do it. I came in and talked a while with the caregiver and then I took the older man’s hand. He was not able to say much to me, but I told him about myself and how his church was praying for him. Then I read him some scriptures, and after some more limited interaction I prayed with him, and as I closed with the Lord’s Prayer, I could hear him trying to join in. As I ended, I looked up and saw tears streaming down his face. That’s the power of the Lord’s Prayer. Something so well-known and meaningful that it can move an elderly man on the brink of death to tears. What was Jesus trying to teach us?
This week we come to the end of this series on the Lord’s Prayer as we look at its closing, “For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.” The interesting part of this is that the ending does not appear in most of your Bibles, at least not in the main body of the text. In Matthew 6:13 we see: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” and that’s it. But if you look at the footnote it reads, “some late manuscripts read ‘for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’” It’s a footnote because the earliest manuscripts when the KJV was translated were not yet discovered. Since 1611, many earlier manuscripts have been found and they end with “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen” Scholars call this ending the Doxology coming from the word doxo meaning glory. It’s a short word of praise, but it doesn’t begin to appear in manuscripts until the early 200’s. Most of the manuscripts, the writings of the early church Fathers and the commentaries on the Bible do not include that ending. It was only about 250 AD that it became commonplace. Those of you who have come from a Catholic background didn’t grow up learning to say the Lord‘s Prayer with the doxology. The doxology was said later in the Mass. Those who are Protestant grew up learning and praying the Lord’s Prayer with the Doxology.
So how did it become attached to the Lord’s Prayer? Very early in the life of the Church, when people prayed the Lord’s Prayer, they added the Doxology. A doxology at the end of a prayer was a common practice in the Jewish tradition and the early church. We see this throughout the prayers of the New Testament. Over time, the doxology was added to the Lord’s Prayer as a part of the text in the mid 2nd century. So it was not original to the Lord’s Prayer but how can you preach a series on the Lord’s Prayer without talking about this last phrase? These words may or may not have been on the lips of Jesus, perhaps not in the context of the Lord’s Prayer but it certainly was on the lips of King David. This is a doxology David prayed a 1000 years before Jesus. See if you can hear our doxology: Put on the PPT slides "Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” 1 Chronicles 29:10-12 Do you hear the doxology in that? “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Today we’re going to look at why the doxology and what’s its meaning truly is.
The first thing I want you to notice is the 3 letter word that connects the Lord’s Prayer with the doxology, “for.” The Greek word used has a number of different meanings but here it means ‘because.’ So here’s the idea: you can pray, ‘Daddy, hallowed by thy name, Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.’ You can pray ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ You can pray ‘forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. But you can only pray these things because the kingdom, the power and the glory forever belong to God and they last forever. The reason you can pray this prayer and ask for these things and trust that these things will be fulfilled is because “Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever.” This is why we can pray with confidence because God is God and the kingdom, the power and the glory forever belong to God.