May 24, 2023

May 24, 2023

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
May 24, 2023

“My sheep here, my voice and I know them.”

John 10:27

There's a wonderful thought that the shepherd hears the voice of the sheep. We should hear the voice of the shepherd, if we are true sheep. And so as we hear the word of God, it's always good to keep in mind if we're sheep we will hear the Word of God and seek to apply it to our lives.

“Now Jesus was praying in a certain place and when he finished one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples.’ And he said to them, “When you pray, say, ‘Father, hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.” And he said to them, ‘Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me. The door is now shut and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence, he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ‘Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be open to you. For everyone who asks, receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.’ What Father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent. Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion. If you then who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?’”

Luke 11:1-13

I think it's safe to say that there's no prayer that has helped God's people pray more than the Lord's Prayer and who better to teach us than the Lord himself. And you see his disciples here in Luke 11 coming to Jesus. Why? Maybe they forgot and maybe they needed a refresher course and humbly acknowledge that they are still on a learning curve.

I think if you were to ask the older saints. That they would tell you that the older they get, the more they feel their inadequacy when it comes to prayer. We're always on a learning curve. So we always have to be asking the Lord, teach us how to pray. We never arrive, we never stop learning. I trust we are always growing and learning more and more how to pray.

But here's a question that I've asked (and maybe you've asked the question), I think I ask this question more than I ever did, when I open my Bible, “Where do I see Christ in this portion of my Bible? Where can I find Christ?” When you come to the Lord's Prayer, he's not explicitly mentioned here.

So where is Jesus? And my answer to that question would be this, Jesus is here in every which way. How? I think that question can be answered by the way of those three offices. Remember? Christ is prophet, priest, and king. Jesus as the prophet teaches us prayer. Right? The catechism question, “Why do I need Jesus as my prophet?” And the answer is, “Because I am ignorant.” That's why these disciples are coming to Jesus, they realize their ignorance, they are asking him, “Teach us how to pray.” And Jesus, the prophet of prophets, teaches them how to pray.

But we can also say this in light of the Lord's Prayer, where is Jesus in this prayer? Jesus is the priest. Again the catechism question, “Why do I need a priest?” “Because I am simple.” This prayer tells us that we can receive forgiveness from God, and why is that? Well, the only reason we can receive forgiveness is because our debts have been paid because of what Christ accomplished on that cross. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. So when we come to this prayer we have to realize it's a blood bought privilege; it's only because of Christ that we can be assured of forgiveness of sin.

Then the third thing, he's the prophet, he's the priest, but Christ is our king. And one of the very first petitions has to do with the kingdom, Thy kingdom come. When Jesus came into the world what was he preaching? The kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God is here. Jesus was and he is the embodiment of the kingdom because Jesus is the king. He's the king. So when we come and pray, “Thy kingdom come,” if we think of God the sovereign king. God the triune God is the king, I realize that, but Jesus in a very special way, he's the king. He came to establish his kingdom. And every time we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” what are we praying? We're praying that a sinner get saved. When a sinner gets saved, the kingdom has come; when you grow in holiness, when you become more like Christ, the kingdom is coming. Not only do we pray in light of the continuing coming of the kingdom, but the ultimate coming of the kingdom, which is when Jesus comes back again.

So when we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” we’re thinking of Jesus, aren't we? We're thinking of Jesus the King who reigns and rules right now, but who will ultimately come back and establish his consummate kingdom. So again the question, “Is Jesus in this prayer?” I would say yes, from three perspectives, prophet, priest and king. You could also say this, no one spoke to God the Father as the Father more than Jesus. Over a hundred times I think in the Gospel of John alone, Jesus addresses God as his father. So Jesus sets the pattern for us as well, “Our father, which art in heaven.”

So as we go to prayer Brethren, we certainly should remember our Lord Jesus Christ and why we so desperately need him. Because we are ignorant, he is the prophet; because we are sinful, he is our priest; because we are weak, he is our king.