Carrie M. Mitchell; Certified Lay Minister of Wesley Church of Hope in Columbus, Ohio.
What is Christian self-understanding according to Matthew’s Gospel that might inform our praying the Lord’s Prayer? I find the best answer in the last verse of Matthew’s Gospel, as it is phrased in the unusual sentence structure of the original Greek text: “I with you AM always even to the consummation of the age.” When studying any passage from the bible it is important to pay attention to the sequence of the wording. I have done this for you in the particular study of the Lord’s Prayer according to the Gospel of Matthew.
Look at the sequence of the words I with you AM always even to the consummation of the age. Do you find any special meaning in this unique word sequence? This is the same I AM Jesus spoke when he identified himself to his disciples as he approached them on the Sea of Galilee walking on the water (in the Greek text of 14:27). At the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel (1:23), Jesus is anticipated as Emmanuel, “God with us.” At the end of the Gospel, you and I as Jesus’ disciples are located and embraced within Jesus’ divine I AM.
What would it mean to you to be enclosed in Jesus’ divine I AM?
This point for our self-understanding involves us, of course, in a vicarious participation in Jesus’ death and resurrection. By dying with Christ we end our participation in the old moral order of the first creation. By being resurrected with Christ we enter into the new creation of the Kingdom of God.
God creates a new type of human being, a new Adam. Apostles Paul says in 2 Cor. 5:17, “Everyone who is in Christ is a new creation all together. Old things passed away; everything has become new.”
Now when you read Matthew’s Gospel, and wherever you encounter the name of Jesus, you can substitute your name, because you have been embraced in Jesus’ divine I AM. Your character Is now mirror of the titles that are attributed to Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel. And like Jesus we proclaim our royal identity; we are the daughters and sons of a King. At the same time, we embrace our participation in the community of “the Son of Man.”
Father, thank you for all the marvelous things you have done.
Thank you for your love that you have revealed to us,
And for the love that we share together as your body.
We pray for all the words you have sown into people’s hearts today.
Watch over them, protect them. May they take root and produce wonderful things,
Things of beauty and great blessings to many., we thank you that you walk with us every-day.May we be alert to your promptings as we live upon your earth, and live in your endless love.For this place is your kingdom, and all the power therein. In Jesus Name Amen.
Please respond to the questions in the comment section at the bottom of the page Your comments are important to us: Remember we learn from one another.
1. What does it now mean to you to be enclosed in Jesus’ divine I AM? It is from within this self-understanding that we acquire from Matthew’s Gospel that we pray the Lord’s Prayer
2. What does it mean when God starts something new after the death of Jesus and the end of the creation? (Matt.27:51-53)