When we read scripture we often see read or scan the words picking up on the intuitive meaning that is obvious in a casual reading. At times, certain passages stand out for us in ways they haven’t before. I believe that the Holy Spirit guides us as we read to give us the insight we need for the day or the season. Frequently the Spirit will help us connect one passage with another to see the consistency of the Truth contained in the word as breathed into the writers across the centuries.
One of the reasons we gather together as the Church is to worship our Creator, the God of the universe, and to listen to the teaching of Scripture. It is during such times of hearing Scripture taught that the Spirit speaks to us as well. Suddenly we see things that we hadn’t seen before. A recent example of such eye-opening happened on a recent Sunday.
This past Sunday the pastor was teaching on the model that Christ gave us for prayer. Beginning in Matthew 6:9 Jesus said, “Pray then like this:” and he went on to give us what we commonly call the Lord’s Prayer. For years I have read the Sermon on the Mount and missed a very important connection that is made several paragraphs later. There comes a place in the prayer where Christ instructs us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Many of us are familiar with this and leave it as an acknowledgment that our daily food is provided by our Father. Here is the next piece. Christ follows this prayer with additional instruction.
Fast forward to verse 25 where Christ says “Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life …” When we’re praying about our daily bread, it is about much more than food and clothing. Christ explains beginning in verse 25 that this prayer is not just about food, it is about our faith in God as our provider, it is about our value in the eyes of God. He says, “Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”In this section, Jesus is teaching that if our Father who is in heaven will take care of the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, he’ll also take care of us. He tells us that because we are more valuable than anything else in creation we should be confident that our Father will provide clothing, food, and shelter to meet our daily needs.
The Lord’s Prayer is about God’s kingdom coming and God’s will being done. He knows that we need the basic necessities. Our priorities, as stated in the prayer and the explanation in verses 25 – 34, should be to first seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness. His promise is that if we will set our priority to bringing God’s kingdom and righteousness to our world, all these basic needs will be given to us.
So, a new insight connecting the Lord’s Prayer to the passage that follows gives a new appreciation for the style of Christ’s teaching. It expands our understanding of how our Father wants us to view all of life from his perspective and priorities rather than our limited view of our natural world.
Let’s be students of God’s word, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) Come together with other students to study the word and learn to connect the dots which only adds to the depth of meaning and complimentary teaching of the Scriptures. Searching the Scriptures with an open heart often reveals new truths that we have previously glossed over.
Just as God is infinite and beyond our ability to comprehend, so is his word as given through the authors. What a treasure we have in the pages of The Book!