Bible Reading: Matthew 6:9-13
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10)
The Lord’s prayer can be split into two sections. The first two verses reveal the heart of God’s will for this earth, which we must pray and seek for. The last three verses are petitions to live out God’s will described in the latter section. Let’s take a look at the first section (v.9-10).
Have you ever thought about what the story of this universe is? From a Christian perspective, the Bible is obviously the answer. It recounts the creation of land and sea and birds and fish. It also tells how God created humans to enjoy Him in the garden of Eden. Then, sin enters the picture and creates a significant complication. A lot of years of history passes and eventually, Jesus comes to save people from sin. If you believe in Him, you will be saved and go to heaven, where everything is perfect. It’s a story with a climax and a happy ending. That sounds about right, doesn’t it?
But is that all there is to it? We are familiar with this Bible story from the days of Sunday School. In reality, it seems all much too cliche. And currently, it has little relevance with our lives apart from the fact that we are waiting to go to heaven.
All this time, what has been on our minds is our own personal salvation. We think, when are we going to be saved? How can I get to heaven? Yet, if we see what Jesus says, He mentions little about being saved to go to heaven. Instead, the clear message from the days of John the Baptist is “Repent for the kingdom of God is near!”. Also, in the Lord’s prayer, Jesus does not pray, “help us get to heaven”. Rather, His prayer is focused on God’s kingdom coming on earth like it is in heaven.
The narrative of our world is a narrative of God’s kingdom. In the beginning, God established His kingdom in Eden. God was the King, Adam and Eve were citizens in God’s kingdom. Many would attach negative connotations of tyranny to medieval kings and kingdoms. Yet, this was not God’s kingdom. God was a good king. He sought and desired one thing from His people; that they loved and served Him. From the outside, it might look as if God was a very egotistical being. However, if we pry a little deeper, God’s design was that when people worshipped Him, they would find the greatest satisfaction and goodness for themselves. In other words, the best thing a human could experience would be to live in submission to God.
Yet, sin entered the picture. Sin is us, humans, rebelling against God. It is like a civil war. Sin is us starting an uprising against our king. Sin is our hearts that reject obeying God as the ruler and king over our lives. Sin is us usurping God’s throne to be our own. We kick God off the throne in our hearts, and we crown ourselves as the rightful king who decides what gets to happen in our life. The kingdom is destroyed because we destroyed it by rebelling and breaking the peace.
God is the Creator and the rightful King. We are the ones who are wrong. God is Holy, and it would be completely just if He decided to destroy and punish all His rebellious subjects. In other words, because we are guilty of sin, we deserve eternal punishment from the eternal God.
However, God promised a man called Abraham that He would restore His kingdom out of His love and mercy for His rebellious people. God knew that living in His Kingdom is what we as humans needed and desired the most. We have confused and destroyed ourselves in trying to run away from it. Progressively, God revealed to His chosen people, the Israelites, that one day, He would send the Messiah who would deal with the problem of our sin once and for all. By this point, the Israelites had realised that sin had made their hearts hard. Sin has caused them to reject God again and again and that there was no way one could turn back to God from sin. They needed a saviour to restore the kingdom.
That saviour is Jesus, and Jesus came so that God’s Kingdom could once again be established on earth. That is why He prays, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Jesus died as an atonement for our sins and to give us new hearts so that once again, we can obey God and serve Him. Jesus forgives our rebellion and opens a door so that once again, we can turn to God and make Him king in our lives. That is the reason for Jesus coming. It was not just to get people to heaven, but to restore His Kingdom where He would be king, and we would be His people who obey Him.
This story has all the relevance to our lives today. First, this means that God wills for His kingdom to come into our lives. It means that God longs to be king over all of our lives. If we believe in Jesus, it means that we want to let God be king over our lives once again and step down from the throne ourselves. It means we must give up our selfish and sinful ways and surrender all of our lives to obey God and His way of living noted in the Bible. This means all areas of our life must be given to God. This includes our private lives, our social lives, our school lives, our church lives. God calls us to let Him rule over our whole lives. That was His intent for humans from the very beginning, and that was why He sent Jesus.
Second, this means that the church has a huge task to play in today’s world. God’s kingdom is here on earth in the form of Christians who submit to God as their King. Its complete revelation will come when Jesus comes back. However, in the meanwhile, Jesus commissions His church to spread God’s kingdom on earth. God longs for His people to return to Him from their rebellious ways. This has been made possible through Jesus, and people need to hear this good news. Many do not know of God’s original intent. And, many do not know that living in God’s kingdom is the best way to live. Who will tell them if it is not us that go?
Let us set our minds on God’s kingdom. Let us pray that God’s kingdom comes in our own lives and also in the lives of others around us who we can reach with the gospel.
Lord, Thank You that You are the King who loves us. Thank You that in Jesus, You died for our sins so that we may return to Your kingdom. Please be king over my life. Rule over all of it because You deserve it all. Make me Your servant also to spread Your kingdom here on earth. Thank You, God. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.