Listening and Praying to the Father

In Matthew 21:28-32 we are told about a father who had two children. Approaching the first, he said, ‘Child, go work today in the vineyard.’ Now, this child responded, ‘I will, Sir’, but did not leave for the vineyard. The father approached the second child and requested the same, who said, ‘I will not!’ but later felt regret and went into the vineyard. Now, which of the two did the will of their father?” The priests and elders answered, “The last one.” Then Jesus said to them: “I tell you this truth: Tax-collectors and the sexually immoral are going ahead of you into the Realm of The God. John came to you in righteousness way and you did not believe him. But the tax-collectors and sexually immoral believed him. Not you–though seeing you did not feel regret later and so believe in John.” (Matthew 21:28-32 MHM)

Which one of the two children do we want to be? Do you recognise the one who says yes but does not act, or do we want to be the one who at first says not going to do it, but changes his mind? Do we want to hear the voice of the Almighty one? Do we even listen to the voice of the Lord Jesus, who asks us to do the will of the Father?

Do we are selves take our own steps and go the way Jesus directs us?

There is only one person to whom we have to give the full authority and to whom we have to give our ear and heart fully.

Jesus, been tempted could resist and said to the Devil (the adversary), “Be on your way, Satan, for it has been written, ‘You shall worship YHWH/Jehovah your God and to Him only shall you render divine service.’”” (Matthew 4:10)

Your God:
By this Jesus infers that YAHWEH or Jehovah is his God otherwise the quote makes no sense as a response to Satan. Over two dozen times the Scriptures use phrases indicating the Nazarene worships his own God. “The God of our Lord.” (#Ephesians 1:3, 17)

The Temptation of Christ, 1854
The Temptation of Christ, 1854 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is only to Jehovah that we have to render divine service (The Greek is LATREUSEIS. Or, KJV: serve; RHM: divine service)

We have to fear the LORD of Lords, our God, and serve him, (De 6:13) and should listen to His wishes and His commandments.

By serving God, Jesus obtained all the earthly authority which the devil offered him, and heavenly authority in addition thereto (#Mt 28:18). So much better are the rewards of God than Satan’s.

The words “him alone thou shalt serve” need be recalled today. Jesus warned men against trying to serve God and mammon (#Mt 6:24). Jehovah had previously also brought His penalties over those who did not want to listen.
Jehovah gave indications that it was time to act. Also several prophets and Christian writers warned people. “Elijah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you waver between the two sides? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” The people answered him not a word.” “(1Ki 18:21 HNV)

Evil or the devil, as the lord of the evil world, constantly tries to win men to the service of the world and God. This is his chief camouflage for destroying a preacher’s power for God. (The word in (#Mt 4:10) for serve is latreuseiv from latriv a hired servant, one who works for hire, then render worship.

Lots of people are in a position they feel secure because they take no parts. They are sometimes member of a denomination, though they have a lot of things they do not keep up to the rules of that denomination. (Compare in the Roman Catholic Church where the Pope has given a lot of rules, but which the majority neglect) A lot of the actions and feasts they hold are pagan and contrary to the Biblical teaching.

We do have to ask the question “How long shall we halt between two opinions?” If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. (1Kings 18:21 JB2000)

We have to come out of the world the Earthly Matters, the World of Babylon the Great. We should not be partakers of her sins. (Revelation 18:4)

We should not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

Let our seed be sown in good soil, so that we really can hear the right message and understand the Words of God, given to us by the Holy Scriptures. By choosing a denomination who keeps closer to the truth then others, we ourselves can protect ourselves more. By choosing the right religion we can become blessed and become productive. (Matthew 13:23)

Keep watch on yourselves, or your hearts will become dulled by carousing, drunkenness and the worries of everyday living, and that Day will be sprung upon you suddenly like a trap! For it will close in on everyone, no matter where they live, throughout the whole world. Stay alert, always praying that you will have the strength to escape all the things that will happen and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man. (Luke 21:34-36)

When we want to follow Jesus, we do have to listen to his words. He also learned his followers to pray to his , their and our Father, with the words ” Our Heavenly Father (Pater Noster), Let your Name be sanctified.”

 

Clearly Jesus does not demand to pray to him but to his Father.

  • Prayer invited
    God has clearly indicated that His people should call upon Him in prayer. [1 Kgs. 3:5; 2 Chron. 7:14; Ps. 50:15; Jer. 33:3.]
  • Prayer encouraged
    The Bible encourages us to pray. [1 Chron. 16:11; Ps. 32:6; Prov. 2:3; Joel 2:32; Mt. 7:7; Lk. 21:36; Jas. 1:5; 1 Jno. 3:22 .]
  • Response promised
    As an encouragement to active prayer God has promised to respond. [Ex. 22:27; Ps. 34:17; Isa. 30:19; Jer. 29:12; Mt. 6:6; 21:22; Jno. 9:31 ; 1 Jno. 5:15 .]
  • Prayer answered
    To emphasise that His promises do not fail, God has put on record evidence of His answer to prayer. [1 Kgs. 3:9,28 ; Ps. 34:4 ; Jas. 5:17 ; Dan. 9:20-23 ; Lk. 22:42 ,43 ; 2 Cor. 12:8,9]

We do have Christ as mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5) who showed us the way to go directly to his and our Father. Already before Christ, from earliest times, there was such a two way communication by prayer, which we still can keep to practice our devotion to the Most High. (Genesis 1:28 ; 3:9)

Today we still can use the given model prayer “Our Father”.

Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 1, page 615: “In the oldest version of this prayer, the invocation reads pater, (dear) Father, and indicates abba as the Aramaic original. This means that when Jesus gave his disciples the Lord’s Prayer, he gave them authority to follow him in addressing God as abba and so gave them a share in his status as Son.”

Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 1, page 617: “The description of God as Father never refers to any other individual or to mankind in general. To be a child of God is not a natural state or quality. …  In Palestinian Judaism of the pre-Christian period the description of God as Father is rare. The Qumran texts provide but a single example. …  We have yet to find an example of an individual addressing God as ‘my Father.’ …  Jesus did not teach the idea that God is the Father of all men. …  It must have been nothing short of outrageous that Jesus should make use of the completely unceremonious Aramaic word abba.”

Let your Name be sanctified; Faithful Christians should honour the Name of the Most high.
Jesus does not use the opportunity to incorporate the noma sagrada or Divine Name (YHWH = Jehovah; # Exodus 3:15) in his model prayer. Jesus uses the words “your name” with reference to the Father rarely in the Synoptic Gospels. In John the Nazarene uses the expression at  John 12:28; John 17:6, 26. However, he never uses or pronounces YHWH in these contexts. Why? In Jesus’ day the Jews refrained from uttering the name YHWH and substituted Elohim (God) or Adonay (Lord). The Jews never removed YHWH from its nearly 7,000 occurrences in the Old Testament.

About the year 1,000 CE Jewish copyists began to incorporate vowel points in YHWH to warn to say God or Lord in its place.
Does the Nazarene ever use YHWH? The Gospel evidence would indicate this could only be when he is quoting the Hebrew Bible. It is now thought that the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, known as The Septuagint (LXX), had YHWH untransliterated in the Greek text. There is a good reason for this. The Greek language cannot convert the Hebrew letters for YHWH. Modern Greek dictionaries use dzehoba or Iekhoba for “Jehovah” but original Greek did not have an “h” as it were, other than a breath sound. Modern Greek attempts to capture the sound of the English pronunciation of the name.

Given the attitude of the Jews what would have happened if Jesus used YHWH in quotes or normal speech? Certainly equal to that misguided accusation that he violated the Sabbath! Yet the Gospels are silent on this. What about private meetings with his disciples when the use of YHWH could not cause a public stir? Compare the lengthy closing words in  John 13$ to 17. Not once does Jesus use YHWH even though he alludes to the “name” four times.
Given the facts that the Jews do not attack him for violating their understanding of one of the Ten Commandments and the absence of his use in private speeches and prayers, it would seem he respected the Jewish tradition of the time.
This does not minimize the importance of the “Name” as Jesus’ words in his prayer shows. The idea of this sanctification occurs scores of times in the Hebrew Bible. Compare Exodus 3:14, 15, 6:3.

Various renderings are: TCNT: May thy name be held holy; MOF: thy name be revered; PHI: may your name be honored.

Honouring the name of the Creator of all things is one way of bringing veneration to the Most High. Saying the words Jesus learnt us to speak, we can worship God with the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father” and asking “Let your Kingdom come. Let your Will take place,  as in heaven, also on earth. “

*

“9 After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
(Matthew 6:9-13 KJBPNV)
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  • Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
    Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
  • Worship and worshipping (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
    The worshipping or act of bringing worship can be done in different forms, which shall be spoken of in different articles. It can be done in the house by a private person or member of the community or in a special built or purpose-built place of worship,  like a church or meeting room, or in a public place or in the open. In the Christadelphian community we mostly call the Meeting Hall “Ecclesia House”, “Ecclesia building” or simply “Ecclesia”.

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