The Gospel in a Nutshell

Oct 20, 2015 1915

“Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13).

The Lord’s Prayer is a reverse summary of the four Gospels – in reverse.

The first part of the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” is a summary of Johns Gospel, the last Gospel. John’s Gospel mentions God as “Father” 120 times. It is in John’s Gospel that we read 28 times about the will of God. And in John’s third chapter, we learn about how we enter the kingdom of God. John’s Gospel is the most mature and developed of the four Gospels.

The four Gospels point out the transition from Judaism to Christianity. Matthew’s Gospel is the most Jewish. It is like a steel clasp, clasping together both Old and New Testaments. (Matthew has 99 references to the Old Testament. That’s not true of John, Luke, or Mark.)

But as you come to John’s Gospel, you come into a full Christian atmosphere in its burgeoning maturity.

The Lord’s Prayer begins with the Christian essence of John’s Gospel about God as “Father.” The Jews never prayed to God as “Father.” It was Jesus who came and taught us that when we pray, we should pray, “Abba.” (The Aramaic word for “Daddy,” or “Papa.”)

As we move on in the Lord’s Prayer, we find it deals with the forgiveness of sins. This reminds us of Luke’s Gospel, which has the most to say about the sympathizing, compassionate nature of God and his generosity in forgiving sins. Luke’s is the Gospel about the outcast, the lost coin, the lost boy, the lost sheep, and the lost Gentile. It’s full of compassion and sympathy and forgiveness. When we read the second section of the lord’s Prayer about “forgive us our sins,” that makes us think about Luke.

And “lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” makes us think of Mark. Mark is more dynamic as a Gospel than any of the others. It contains more of the miracles Christ performed when he was fighting the evil of the devil. Mark is the great Gospel of victory over the adversary. When the lord’s Prayer says, “Deliver us from evil,” that’s a summary of Mark, when mighty miracles take place and Christs kingdom of grace is conquering the kingdom of darkness.

Matthew contains the word “kingdom” 56 times. The Lord’s Prayer ends with the theme of Matthew: “Thine is the kingdom of heaven.”

Our Lord’s Prayer is a summary of John, Luke, Mark, and Matthew – in that order.

– Des Ford

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