Sunday, July 21st, 2013
Portrait of St Luke
11/04/1575 to 08/18/1642
Luke 11: 1-13
1 He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread 4 and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”
5 And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ 7 and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.
9 “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? 12 Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? 13 If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
What Does Luke Mean?
In this section of Luke, Jesus is talking about prayer in response to one of his disciples asking him, “Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples.” This story is a series of sayings by Jesus in response to this request: first the Lord’s prayer, second the parable of the persistent friend, and then a series of sayings about asking.
Jesus’ tone is to ask and to be confident that God will respond and give what is requested. We tend to hear the Lord’s prayer as a series of supplications made in a tone of begging. I expect that the tone of Jesus’ prayer is much more assertive. It’s worth noticing that Jesus’ prayer is a series of imperatives, of commands to God: hallow, give, forgive, etc.. It’s pushier and more demanding than we are accustomed to praying. It’s in a tone of stating what it is that we want. This is Jesus’ way of teaching his disciples and us both what to pray for and how to pray. These are the things that really matter, rather than the trivia for which we often pray.
12 You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And even when you were dead (in) transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions; 14 obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims, which was opposed to us, he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross; 15 despoiling the principalities and the powers, he made a public spectacle of them, leading them away in triumph by it.
Colossians 2:12-14 ESV
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