2019 03 03 pm The Faith Foundation Footnote Matthew 6:13

Congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ,

I am sure that many of us have prayed the words of the Lord’s Prayer many times.  And it may come as a bit of a shock to those of you with ESV or NIV Bibles to see that the last part of the prayer that we know so well is only in a footnote!

So how is it then that a footnote is an accepted part of the Lord’s Prayer?  Well, at the time that the Heidelberg Catechism was put together and the King James Version of the Bible was published, pretty much every Greek New Testament manuscript available included these words as part of verse 13.  However, about 250 years later, several Greek manuscripts were discovered that did not have these words in v13.  And many Bible scholars today believe that those few manuscripts are actually the oldest and therefore most reliable manuscripts that we have.  So that is why these words have become a footnote in modern Bible versions.

But having said that, what that means is that you have five manuscripts that do not contain these words and around 6000 (that’s right, 6000!) that do.

And let me quickly say that there are just a handful of verses or words or passages in the Bible that end up in this footnote situation and none of them take anything away from or alter the message of the Bible.


So we have around 6000 reasons to view these words as the conclusion to the prayer that the Lord Jesus taught us to pray.


And these words are also a very wonderful way to end this prayer.  We have made six requests of God – that His name be hallowed, that His kingdom come, that His will be done, that He would give us our daily needs, that He would forgive us as we forgive others, and that he would not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil.  And with these next words we are declaring that God has the authority and ability to do all that we have prayed for and that He is worthy of all honour.  So these words are a powerful profession of Faith.  And we want to see this as we simply consider God’s Kingdom, God’s power, and God’s glory as our three points.


  1. So firstly then, what we say here about God’s Kingdom is a powerful profession of faith.
    1. People of God, I am sure we would all agree that the world is in an absolute mess!
      1. The world:
        1. Superpowers – Donald Trump. Vladimir Putin.  Xi Jinping.
        2. Basket case countries – Kim Jong Un. Nicolas Maduro.  Emerson Mnangagwa.
        3. Right now, it looks like the only buildings still standing in Syria are riddled with bullet or shell holes.
        4. Daily reports of fires, floods, famines, earthquakes, and volcanos.
        5. School shootings. #MeToo movement and all the pain it describes.  Domestic violence and Youth suicide are a national disgrace in NZ.
        6. There are exceptionally beautiful and able actors and actresses and supermodels and celebrities and athletes. But they too,just like you and me, will end up old and wrinkly and eventually six feet underground.
        7. Dementia.  Parkinsons, etc.
      2. What about the Christian Church?
        1. Liberal theology.  Clergy sexual abuse.  Women in office.
        2. But what about us? We are a group of around 180 believers.  Some of us grew up attending church.  That means, on average, that we have heard 25 years of sermons – that’s 2600 sermons.  We have attended 180 Sunday school classes and 180 catechism classes and 210 cadet Bible studies and 112 youth group Bible studies and 520 Home group Bible studies as well as ladies’ Bible studies and men’s Bible studies and Christian conferences, on top of our own personal Bible reading and devotion.  So, are we a wonderful example of godliness?  Have we reached personal perfection yet?
      3. So we would be fools to put our hope and trust in any of the kings and kingdoms of this world.


  1. So let’s look briefly at what the Bible says about the kingdom of God/heaven/Christ.
    1. Turn back a couple of pages to Matthew 4:17. Matthew’s Gospel is often called the gospel of the kingdom.  Right at the very beginning of His public ministry, Jesus says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  So with the coming of Jesus, the kingdom of God/heaven/Christ was about to burst into this world.  And look now at verse 23.  There we read that Jesus “went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.”  So as Jesus revealed Himself as the Messiah by healing the people and then died on the cross and rose again, He was revealing the gospel of the kingdom – He is the King and faith in Him is how we become citizens of His kingdom.  Skip forward now to Matthew 16:28.  There Jesus says this about His disciples: “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”  So the disciples of Jesus saw the coming of the kingdom – It was when Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven and poured out His Spirit on Pentecost Day.
    2. And now skip ahead to Colossians 1:13. There we see that every time a person comes to faith in Christ, they become citizens of the kingdom of God: “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”  So if you are a believer, you are in God’s kingdom.
    3. And this is wonderful news! But you are probably thinking to yourself that it does not feel like you are living in the kingdom of God!  All those things we mentioned about the world and the church are very true.  So this is where we are helped with a concept that some theologians call the Already and the Not Yet.  The kingdom of God has already come; we truly are a part of the kingdom of God.  But the kingdom of God is not here in its fullness yet.
      1. 1 Corinthians 15:24-26 speaks about this. We read, “Then comes the end, when [Jesus] delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.  For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
      2. And then when we stand before the Lord Jesus on Judgment Day, Matthew 25:34 tells us that Jesus “will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world”; That is when the kingdom of God shall be complete. That is when, according to Rev. 20, the devil and his angels and all those who have rejected Jesus Christ will be thrown into the lake of burning sulphur, never to trouble the citizens of Christ’s kingdom ever again!
    4. So congregation, Jesus Christ is King now. He reigns!  And the kingdom of God is like a giant embroidery.  My wife embroiders.  Others of you will also.  The first stitches never look very impressive.  But once the embroidery is complete, the picture is amazing!  Well, the Lord Jesus’ resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit were the first stitches sewn in the embroidery of the kingdom.  And day by day more stitches are being sewn until one day the full magnificence of God’s kingdom will be visible to all.  So what you are reminding yourself and declaring to the world when you pray, Yours is the kingdom, is that God is the ultimate authority in this world and He will do all that He has purposed and promised to do!


  1. But our powerful profession of faith continues in what we say about God’s power, which is our second point.


  1. On June 26, 1945, immediately after WW II, a conference of nations united in their determination that war would be eradicated agreed to form an organisation called the United Nations. And the opening principles of the charter that these nations all signed commits the UN to “maintain international peace and security,” to work to prevent and remove threats to peace and to develop friendly relations among nations that would strengthen universal peace.
    1. And if you look at the UN website, as part of its efforts to eradicate war, these are the events scheduled for March:
      1. Group of governmental experts to review operations and further development of the register of conventional arms.
      2. Organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons.
      3. Groups of governmental experts on further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space.
      4. Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, Group of Governmental Experts on the High Contracting Parties to the CCW on Emerging Technologies in the Area of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems.
      5. And those are just the UN sessions that were in plain English. Many of them had lots of acronyms that I did not have time to look up and figure out!
    2. And of course, we could add to this list all of the Earth Summits and G20s and Commonwealth Heads of Governments, and APEC, Arab Congress, and on and on it goes. Presidents and Prime-Ministers and Kings and Dictators fly in with all of their entourage for talk-fests and photo sessions and solemn declaration signings.  Surely these are the powerful people of the world?
    3. The problem is though that since the UN came into existence, excluding civil wars within one country, the world has seen war in Vietnam, 3 times, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Israel, several times, Korea, China, Congo, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ethiopia, Angola, Afghanistan, several times, the Falkland Islands, Iran, Iraq, several times, Somalia, Uganda, Lebanon, the Balkans, Ukraine, and Syria… So, a pretty good case can be made to say that the powerful people of the world are actually quite powerless.
    4. Now, we need to say that war is awful. The prevention of war is a noble cause.  However, because we are sinful human beings, until the Lord Jesus returns there will be conflict within marriage and within family and within villages and towns and cities and nations.  Jesus was explicit about this when He said that until He returns, “there will be wars and rumours of wars.”  The major problem of humanity is not war but sin.  And as sinners, we cannot fix sin, which is why God sent His Son into the world.  Jesus came to deal with our personal sin, as we believe in Him, and eventually to rid the universe of sin, when He comes again.


  1. But having said what we have said about how powerless we are as human beings, listen to how the Bible begins: And God said, “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” He simply spoke light and everything else into existence!  Now that is power!  We also read that God rolled back the waters of the Red Sea so His people could pass through on dry land and then brought those waves crashing down on the Egyptians.  That is power!  And Jesus said to the stormy sea, “‘Peace!  Be still!’  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”  That is power!  And Jesus said to four day dead Lazarus, “Come out!”  And “the man who had died came out.”  That is power!  And then, having died three days earlier, Jesus rose from the dead.  That is power!
    1. And it is God’s power that led David to pray, as we read earlier, “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.  Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.  In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.”
    2. And this powerful God becomes your Father in heaven the moment you put your faith in Jesus Christ and repent of your sins, which means to confess your sins and turn away from them. Is He your Father in heaven?  If so, you have every reason to trust Him.  That is why Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear … your heavenly Father knows that you need them … Ask and it will be given to you.”  And Ephesians 3:19 tells us that He can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine!
    3. And when your own sin and the many problems in this world lead you to doubt your salvation and the promises of God, listen to what Jude 24-25 says about God’s power: “Now to Him who is able (dynamite power!!!) to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.”


So when you pray, “Yours is the power,” you are reminding yourself and declaring to the world that God possesses all power and that He is able to do all that He has purposed and promised to do!  !


  • Well, so far we have spoken of God’s kingdom and God’s power.  But our powerful profession of faith is completed with what we say about God’s glory; our third and final point.


  1. Many years ago two of my children did a school project about the seven wonders of the ancient world: the Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandra, the Mausoleum at Halicanassus, the Temple of Artemis, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus, and the Great pyramid of Giza. They made a poster with each of the wonders on it and learned about each one.  And there is certainly a sense in which we can describe those seven wonders as glorious.  However, there is a reason why we call them the seven wonders of the ancient world, and that is because only one of them exists today and that is the Great pyramid.  But even it has crumbled significantly and been stripped of most of its treasures.  The rest are long gone and we do not even know where the hanging gardens of Babylon were located or if they actually existed at all!  The point is that even the best feats of human engineering have at best a passing


  1. And this week we had the Oscars and every four years we have the World Cups and Olympics. And we speak about glorious works of art and athletes who cover themselves in glory.  But soon there is a new champion or a new star of Hollywood.  And scratch the surface of sport or Hollywood and there is a mountain of greed and corruption and immorality and drugs, etc.


  1. And even the glory of a magnificent sunset, or the glory of a triumphant symphony, or the glory of a distant constellation in the latest Hubble photo, are really just reflections of a far greater glory – the original, perfect, and unfading glory of the Creator.
    1. In Exodus 24 we read that “when Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai … To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.” And once the Tabernacle had been built, we read that “the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.  Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because … glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”  And then in Luke 2, we read about the time when shepherds were out in the fields “keeping watch over their flocks at night [and] an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.”
    2. The glory of God is so dazzling and majestic and wonderful that it astounds and terrifies those who come close to it. And it should do so because we are miserable sinners who deserve to be crushed by God’s glory.
    3. But rather than crush us, what God did was to send His Son, who Hebrews 1:3 tells us is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being.” God’s glory came to earth in the person of Jesus.  But His glory was ‘cloaked’ by His humanity.  He kept His glory hidden within Himself.  From time to time it emerged as He healed the sick and raised the dead, and also on the Mount of Transfiguration, when “His face shone like the Sun, and His clothes became as white as light.”
    4. But He came to earth then as our Saviour. He came to live a life of perfect obedience and to offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin, that by faith in Him our sins might be forgiven.
    5. But one day though He will come back to earth not as Saviour but as Judge.  And there will be no ‘cloak’ on that day.   Philippians 2 tells us that God has “highly exalted him and given Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
    6. And on the Day of Judgment He will terrify all those who have not received Him as Saviour and Lord. So which is it for you, my friends?  Is He your wonderful Saviour now or will He be your Fearful Judge then?


Well, by way of conclusion, in John 14:13, Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”  It is fitting then that having brought all the requests of our prayers before the Lord that we remind ourselves and declare to the world that the name of God “should receive all the praise, forever.”


So in terms of the prayer that the Lord Jesus taught us to pray, God does have the authority and ability to do all that we have prayed for and He is worthy of all honour.  And God willing, next Sunday afternoon we will consider the significance of the Amen.  Let us pray: