Summary: When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name”, He wanted them to recognize at least 4 distinctive truths about God. And when we know these 4 truths, we will never be able approach Him in the same way again.
Lord’s Prayer #3 Hallowed be they Name
I was born George Calhoun on Feb. 22, (George Washington’s birthday) 1957 in Paterson, N.J. to George and Bernice Calhoun. I was later given the middle name David at my Christening. I actually like the name David better than George, but George is all I’ve ever known. When my grandpa and grandma came from Scotland through Ellis Island in 1906, they change the family clan name from Colquhoun to Calhoun, so that it would sound more American. My dad was the youngest of 11 and most of his brother’s and sisters where born just outside of Glasow, Scotland.
Next year, Lannette and I plan on going to Scotland to visit the land of my ancestors. This is more than just a trip, I feel the need to connect. To reconnect with my families heritage and my families name.
Names are important. They tell you where you come from and they represent where and who you are. It is said that a person is only as good as their name and as William Shakespeare said in Romeo and Juliet; What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Names are important us! And when we pray, “Our Father, hallowed be thy name”, we need to recognize that it is important to the Lord as well.
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name”, He wanted them to recognize at least 4 distinctive truths about God. And when we know these 4 truths, we will never be able approach Him in the same way again.
1st truth Jesus wants us to see is that God has a name:
In the 10 Commandments, the Lord emphatically says,
Deut. 5:11 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. In the KJV it says, Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.
Why is this so important to the Lord? It’s important because God’s name represent Himself, His nature and His being. In essence, God is only as good as His name. So when Jesus teaches us to pray, “Hallowed be thy name”, He’s telling us to give honor to the Father who created us, and desires so deeply to have a loving and nurturing relationship with us.
Now some people pray; “Hallowed be Thy Name” like they’d say “God bless America, or “Hail to the Queen”.
But when Jesus tells us to pray, “Hallowed be Thy name”, He’s telling us to do more than to salute the Lord, He’s telling us that the Lord desires for us to ascend to His very heart and there recognize who He is and what He has done for us.
Now last week we looked at the three OT Names for God:
Elohim (God the Creator)
Yahweh (God who keeps His covenant)
Adonai (God is the Lord or Master)
And up unto the time of Jesus, the Jews so revered the name of God that they dear not even say it. So they took the consonants out of the name Yahweh and the vowels out of the name Adonai and put them together to create a new name for God, Jehovah.
And yet, despite this outward reverence for God, Jesus said with regard to these extremely devote Jews that "’These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. Matt. 15: 8
In short, though their words say one thing, their heart’s response, their behavior and actions are to the contrary. In essence, they are breaking the 3rd Commandment edict to not misuse the Lord’s name. There is a story of a young soldier who served in the army of Alexander the Great. This young man was found running from battle during one of Alexander’s campaigns. Subsequently he was caught and brought before the great leader. Alexander the Great asked the young man what his name was. The young man ashamedly hung his head and mumbled in a hushed voice, “Alexander sir!” Alexander the Great strained to hear what the young man had said and then asked the question again. The young man replied again in muted tones, “Alexander, sir!” By now, Alexander the great was becoming indignant and shouted, “Young man, what is your name?” With this the young man snapped to attention and responded forcefully, “Alexander, sir!”
The great leader sat back in his chair, pondered the young man’s response for a moment and then with a tone that would make a person’s bones quake, he said, “young man, change you attitude, or change your name.”