This Fall we’ll continue our exploration of the Sermon on the Mount – the foundational bedrock of Jesus’ teaching. We will be picking up in chapter 6, Part 3 of our outline which we’ve called “Kingdom Devotion”.
Jesus shifts gears in this portion of the Sermon. He begins to focus more on application – putting into practice what he’s just taught in previous sections. In this section he covers three key areas in the lives of his followers: giving, prayer and fasting. He expects his followers to be tending to their relationships with others (giving), their relationship with God (prayer), and the state of their inner lives (fasting). Jesus assumes his followers are active in these three areas. He says, “when you give” (6:1), “when you prayer” (6:5) and “when you fast” (6:16). He cautions his followers against publicity and doing these things to be seen. He cautions us to not babble on and on searching for the right prayer formula or combination of words that will produce the desired results. Jesus says to his disciples, “pray like this”, and then proceeds to teach them the prayer that has come be known as “The Lord’s Prayer” or the “Our Father”. As we will see, this is a prayer we must learn to live. It is a prayer that has power to form us.