Sitting at the Feet of Yeshua
We continue our exploration of the Disciple’s Prayer by unpacking Matthew 6:10.
“May your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven” ~ Matthew 6:10
The phrase ‘the Kingdom of God’ is replete throughout the whole Brit Hadashah. No phrase is used more often in prayer, in preaching and in Messianic literature. It is, therefore, of primary importance that we should be clear as to what it means.
It is evident that the Kingdom of God was central to the message of Yeshua. Mark describes Yeshua’s ministry beginning when He came into Galilee preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God. “After Yochanan had been arrested, Yeshua came into the Galil proclaiming the Good News from God: ‘The time has come, God’s Kingdom is near! Turn to God from your sins and believe the Good News!’” (Mark 1:14-15). Yeshua himself described the preaching of the kingdom as an obligation laid upon him: “I must announce the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the other towns too – that is why I was sent” (Luke 4:43; Mark 1:38). Luke’s description of Yeshua’ activity is that He went through every city and village preaching and showing the Good News of the Kingdom of God (Luke 8:1). Clearly, the meaning of the Kingdom of God is something that we should try to understand.
When we do try to understand the meaning of this phrase we meet with certain puzzling facts. We find that Yeshua spoke of the Kingdom in three different ways. He spoke of the Kingdom as existing in the past. He said that Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov, and all the prophets were in the Kingdom (Luke 3:28; Matthew 8:11). He spoke of the Kingdom as present. “The Kingdom of God,” He said, “is among you” (Luke 17:21). He also spoke of the Kingdom of God as future, for he taught men to pray for the coming of the Kingdom in this prayer. How then can the Kingdom be past, present and future all at the same time? How can the Kingdom be at one and the same time something which existed, which exists, and for whose coming existence it is our duty to pray?
We find the key in this double petition of the Disciple’s Prayer. One of the common characteristics of Hebrew writing style is what is technically known as parallelism. Hebrew writers have a tendency to say everything twice. They would say it in one way, and then say it another way, which repeated, amplified or explained the first way. Almost any verse in the Psalms will show this parallelism in action.
Let’s look at some examples to make this point clear:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
“Adonai-Tzva’ot is with us, our fortress, the God of Ya’akov.” (Psalm 46:7)
“Adonai is my shepherd; I lack nothing. He has me lie down in grassy pastures, He leads me by quit water.” (Psalm 23:1-2)
Now, let’s apply this principle of parallelism to these two petitions of the Disciple’s Prayer: “Your Kingdom come – Your will be done on earth as in heaven.”
Let us assume that the second petition explains, amplifies, and defines the first. We then have the perfect definition of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is a society, upon earth where God’s will be as perfectly done as it is in heaven. Here we have the explanation of how the Kingdom can be past, present and future all at the one time. Any man who at any time in history perfectly did God’s will was within the Kingdom; any man who perfectly does God’s will is within the Kingdom; but since the world is very far from being a place where God’s will is perfectly and universally done, the consummation of the Kingdom is still in the future and is still something for which we must pray.
To be in the Kingdom is to obey the will of God. Immediately, we see that the Kingdom is not something, which primarily has to do with nations or peoples or countries. It is something, which has to do with each one of us. The Kingdom is in fact the most personal thing in the world. Once again, it’s an issue of the heart.
The Kingdom demands the submission of my will, my heart, and my life. It is only when each one of us makes our personal decision to submit to the will of God that the Kingdom comes.
To pray for the Kingdom of Heaven is to pray that we may submit our wills entirely to the will of God.
From what we have already seen it becomes clear that the most important thing in the world is to obey the will of God; the most important words in the world are “Your will be done.”
No man can look at the Execution Stake and doubt the love of God, and when we are sure of the love of God, it is easy to say, “Your will be done.”
When you pray, pray for God’s will to saturate your life, your family, congregation, community, region, state, nation, and the world.
In my next post, we will continue to unpack the Disciple’s prayer by looking at Matthew 6:11.