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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 6 - Verse 10

Verse 10. Thy kingdom come. The word kingdom here means reign. See Barnes "Mt 3:2".

The petition is the expression of a wish that God may reign everywhere; that his laws may be obeyed; and especially that the gospel of Christ may be advanced everywhere, till the world shall be filled with his glory.

Thy will be done. The will of God is, that men should obey his law, and be holy. The word will, here, has reference to his law, and to what would be acceptable to him; that is, righteousness. To pray, then, that his will may be done on earth as in heaven, is to pray that his law, his revealed will, may be obeyed and loved. His law is perfectly obeyed in heaven, and his true children most ardently desire and pray that it may also be done on the earth. The object of these three first petitions is that God's name should be glorified, and his kingdom established; and by being placed first, we learn that his glory and kingdom are of more consequence than our wants, and that these should be first in our hearts and petitions before a throne of grace. *

{*} The following clauses respecting this prayer are found in the writings of the Jews, and were doubtless familiar in the time of Christ: "That prayer," say the Rabbins, "in which there is no mention made of the kingdom of heaven, is not a prayer.' "What," say they, "is a short prayer? Ans. Do thy will in heaven, and give rest to the spirits fearing thee below." Give us this day, etc. The Jews had a prayer like this: "The necessities of thy people are many, and their knowledge small; so that they do not know how to make known their wants: let it be thy good pleasure to give to each one what is necessary for his sustenance," etc. Deliver us from evil. The Jews prayed, "Be it thy good pleasure to free us from an evil man, and an evil event; from evil affections, from an evil companion and neighbour, from Satan," etc. The prayers of the Jews were generally closed with a doxology, or ascription of praise, not unlike this in the Lord's prayer. The people, at the close of the prayer, generally responded, "Amen!"

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