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Jesus Teaches His Disciples the Lord’s Prayer

Jesus Teaches His Disciples the Lord’s Prayer

Excerpt
Versions of this prayer appear in both Matthew (6:9–13) and Luke (11:2–4); most scholars accept the original form of the prayer that stands behind these Gospels as authentic (Witherington 1990:204). Jesus here probably adapts an early form of what became a basic synagogue prayer, the Kaddish* (Vermes 1984:43; Davies and Allison 1988:595), which began something like this (Jeremias 1964:98):
Exalted and hallowed be his great name
in the world which he created according to his will.
May he let his kingdom rule …
Although Jesus’ ministry sets the elements of the prayer in a new context—the future kingdom is present in a hidden way in the future King, Jesus of Nazareth (Mt 8:2913:31–33)—the first disciples must have heard in Jesus’ words an exhortation to seek God’s coming kingdom (4:176:33) by praying for it to come. Neither the Kaddish nor Jesus’ sample prayer is a prayer for the complacent person satisfied with the treasures of this age. This is a prayer for the desperate, who recognize that this world is not as it should be and that only God can set things straight—for the broken to whom Jesus promises the blessings of the kingdom (5:3–12). More
Keener, Craig S. Matthew. Vol. 1. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.
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