6/18/2000 11:00 AM
This is called "The Lord's Prayer". Jesus here was introducing us to "Our Father". He was presenting God as a father, one we can come to with our needs and who watches out for us. We can sit down and talk to God about things that trouble us. He is a father to be honored. We can come to him with our needs. We can have an everlasting father that will be there even when our dads have gone.
He's not teaching disrespect to parents. Jesus is speaking of God and that none can take the place of God. Those in teaching or leading positions can have and should have our respect, but they cannot take God's place. God is a good father. He looks after his children and takes a real interest in each one.
The son had left the father. He had chosen to go away. The father was watching for the son's return. He was waiting for his boy to come home. The attitude of the father here is worth noting. He was looking for the opportunity to welcome his son home; not sitting back saying, "He deserves it." He was ready to give his son the best. This is how God is to us; ready to give us the best. God wants ALL to be reconciled, so that he CAN give them the best. He doesn't want people to continue in sin and suffering. God would give the robe of righteousness. Giving his son the ring was giving him access to all the family owned. In those days they used the ring to seal their correspondence and to sign for things. The shoes we are given are the gospel. God is a wonderful father, full of mercy and compassion.
This father gives temporal blessings to both the just and unjust. The child is to be like the father. We need to have the same qualities that the father has. The father is not one to persecute, though he stands straight still. He treats all mercifully and with kindness. We need to be watching for the return of those that are out of the way. The "cursing" mentioned here is to wish or look for evil upon another. There is malicious intent involved. Do good to the ones that hate you. We may encounter persecution. The idea behind persecution is to try to change your stand. We can stand for right and still be an influence to others without using persecution. A smile for a smile is easy. A smile for a frown is more difficult to do. What is so special about "saluting your brother"? Be a friend to all mankind. We can all look for ways to make excuse. Children are like their parents. God came to call us to be like him. We need the same qualities that he has. We need to be a light in the darkness. We've been called to be different from the world and to show them what a good father can do. God makes the change by his Spirit dwelling in us.
2 Corinthians 3:18
We all looking and seeing the heavenly Father and his glory can be changed to be like him. We can follow the example of our heavenly Father. People need to be able to recognize that we are children of God. We aren't to only claim his name, but also to bear a resemblance to him. The glory of God should change us and be continually making us more like Christ. We want to be changed; we don't want to stay in the condition we were in. We need to take what was given and share with others. We need to care about others and not take the attitude "they're getting what they deserve." Be like God.