Structure of Matthew 6

Thu, 15/11/2012 - 12:23 -- James Oakley

Does the Lord's Prayer give the structure of Matthew chapter 6?

The Lord's Prayer contains

  1. a way to address God
    • Our Father in Heaven
  2. 3 petitions concerned with God's honour
    • May your name be honoured
    • Your kingdom come
    • Your will be done
  3. 3 petitions concerned with our needs
    • Give us our daily bread
    • Forgive us our sins
    • Deliver us from temptation and evil

Before the Lord's Prayer we get 6:7-8, which establishes that God truly is our Father. He doesn't need to be coerced or manipulated.

Surrounding the Lord's Prayer we get the rest of 6:1-18 (6:1-6 and 6:16-18), in which Jesus spells out that we are to live for God's praise and honour, and not for the applause of others.

After the Lord's Prayer we get 6:19-34, in which Jesus spells out what it looks like to depend on God our Heavenly Father for all of our needs, and not to live for them.

3 theses, then:

  1. God is our Father.
  2. Living for his honour is the alternative to chasing the honour of others
  3. Depending on him to supply what we need is the alternative to living for the sating of those needs.
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