Luke 11: 1-4 – The World Behind the Text

rootedchristThis week we are going deeper into a passage that you most likely know pretty well.  The Lord’s Prayer. We are going to be looking at the version fo the prayer that is found in Luke, specifically Luke 11: 1-4.  We’ll follow the  same pattern that we’ve been going by this year, one day of the world behind the text, at least one day of the world of the text, at least one day of the world in front of the text

Today we are looking at the world behind the text.

You may or may not know that the Lord’s Prayer is given to us twice in scripture, once in Matthew 6 and then what we read today in Luke 11.  Each of the four Gospels gives us a different perspective on who Jesus is and ministry that He led here upon the earth.  Matthew’s giving of the Lord’s Prayer comes within the Sermon on the Mount and that entire part of Matthew is meant to show us that Jesus comes to fulfill what the Old Testament Law began.   Jesus gives us the perfect law as summed up in the Beatitudes.  The Lord’s Prayer is part of that perfect law.

For Luke, he agrees with that, Jesus is the perfect savior of the world, fully God and fully human, there is something about the way that he saws us Jesus’ life.  Jesus isn’t just the giver of the perfect law, but Jesus is our teacher on the path.  He is always teaching.  He is the perfect teacher, the perfect mentor, the perfect guide. By following Jesus and His teachings, we will find the life that the culture and the world cannot give us.  Our path is in following the teachings of Jesus.

So, how does today’s reading start?  The disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray.  For Luke, this is key.  Remember, Luke is a Gentile and he’s going to come at things from a Roman perspective.  Jesus is teaching them who God is and who they are.  In Matthew He gives the perfect law, in Luke He is the perfect teacher.

Which is it?  Yes.  It is both.  Jesus is the perfect law giving and He is the perfect teacher. That’s why we read them together, why we need all four Gospels.  We need to understand the Jewish perspective of Matthew, the Gentile perspective of Luke, the Roman specific perspective of Mark, and the deep philosophical perspective of John.

Today, though, understand that this reading this week will be about answering that question – how do we pray?  Our perfect teacher will show us the way.

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