Summary: 3rd in the series...When we pray "thy Kingdom come"; we are not asking for a geographical kingdom. This message also looks at the difference between the Lord’s Prayer as recorded in Matthew and in Luke
In Jesus Holy Name April 29, 2007
Text: Luke 11:1-4 Easter V - Redeemer
“Thy Kingdom Come….”
3rd in the Series: “Prayer: Connecting to Our Father”
When you and I pray: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” the word kingdom immediately brings to mind a geographical area where kings or nations rule. God’s kingdom is not limited to earthly boundaries or borders. Where ever God’s word and His Holy Spirit control the thinking and actions of a person, there is God’s kingdom.
One of the first things we should notice is the difference between Luke and Matthew. Luke simply reads: “your kingdom come”. Matthew reads: “Your kingdom come…and then adds: “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
John Reumann in his book: “Jesus in the Church’s Gospels” writes: “these additional words of Matthew, “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” are meant to clarify the words: “thy kingdom come”. The kingdom of God comes as the will of God is done. Matthew clarifies something that is in briefer form in Luke. You will also see this clarification in the 6th petition of the Lord’s Prayer.
Luke writes: “And lead us not into temptation”.. Matthew clarifies and adds: “but deliver us from the evil one”. The question… Well, which one did Jesus really teach? This does not mean there is an error nor that Jesus taught two different prayers. If Matthew expands and clarifies the historical words of Jesus it is done under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We must remember the powerful force of the Holy Spirit which was at work to preserve what Jesus taught. The Easter event changed everything. Prior to his death and resurrection Jesus told his disciples that He would be handed over, crucified and on the third he would rise again. Jesus also told the disciples that God would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the God head, to “be with you forever…” “the Spirit of Truth….whom the Father will send in my name ….will teach you all things… and remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:17,26)
This is the experience of the Emmaus road disciples. (read Luke 24:13,17,27) Now, they already knew these O.T. bible passages. But after the resurrection they had a fuller understanding. (read v 32)
“Ask any hundred N.T. scholars around the world, Protestant, Roman Catholic, or non-Christian what the central message of Jesus of Nazareth was and they would agree that his message centered on the “kingdom of God.”
In Matthew 4:17 we find these words: “after the temptation in the wilderness…Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
What does the word “kingdom” mean for Jesus and for us who still pray, “thy kingdom come”? Is it something men and women build? Does it have geographical boundaries? The answer to both is NO. Does it have geopolitical ramifications? Yes. The message of Jesus was about God’s kingdom, His rule and authority.
The gospel of Mark begins: “No after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee preaching…”the time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the gospel.” (Mk 1:14-15)
All through the gospels we hear Jesus begin his parables with these words: “the kingdom of heaven is like...”
The miracles of Jesus were not magic tricks to make converts; they demonstrated God’s compassion and power. Last week we read Mk 1:21-25 and saw the clash of the kingdom of God challenging the earthly rule of Satan.
From Bethlehem to Calvary the battle raged. Satan’s desire was to seduce the 2nd Adam, the son of God, as he did the first. The spiritual battle happened in the wilderness. It happened when the scribes and Pharisees said Jesus was tricking people by casting out lesser demons by the power of Satan. (Matt. 12:24) The battle spiritual battle between the kingdom of God and Satan’s earthly kingdom reached incredible intensity in the garden of Gethsemane. Even on the cross Satan used the Pharisees to tempt Jesus one last time to give up his obedience to God the Father. “In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and elders mocked him. He saved others, they said, but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel? Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.” (Matt. 27:41-42)
Satan was defeated at the cross and by the resurrection of Jesus, yet he continues his guerrilla warfare. Just this past Wed. evening at our bible study on prayer…everything was going great. Right in the middle of our prayers to our heavenly Father, the phone rings… the host has to leave the prayer time and answer the phone. But then the phone rings two more times in succession…. Two of them were wrong numbers. Satan was seeking to disrupt our prayers of praise to God.