Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Matthew 6:1-18

Why is secrecy such a value here in prayer and fasting? It must be because God wants to contrast the inward nature of true spirituality with the external show of false spirituality. Jesus is not advocating the neglect of spiritual disciplines; they are still done. They are just done differently. He is advocating care about our motives as we do the spiritual disciplines.

The advice about prayer is, "Don't. . . Don't. . . Do. . ." Don't be like the religous. Don't be like the pagan. Do pray like this, "Our Father..."

The Lord's prayer has interesting form in the Greek language, one we don't have in English, third person imperative. That's where the translations of "LET your will be done." It is different than "Do your will." It shifts to second person imperatives, which you would expect, at "Give us this day..."

Interesting, too, that the bread is for today, not for later.

1 comment:

Diane said...

I'm wondering exactly how the following verse fits into the plan of salvation: "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." I thought that forgiveness of sins came through a faith in Jesus Christ.

Does this mean that we lose our salvation if we can't forgive someone? I know there are other verses in the bible (the parable about the unforgiving servent, for example) that emphasize this, so it's important, if not crucial, to the Christian walk.

What if someone murdered someone close to you? How do you get to that point where you can let go and forgive him/her? And should you forgive someone who has already died?