The Gospel of Matthew: Lead Us Not Into Temptation.

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:9–13 ESV)

Perhaps with the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), the Lord’s Prayer is one of the most recited and remembered portions of Scripture. Wall hangings in many homes display it, children memorize it, and gifted singers regale audiences when they sing it. For the next several days, our attention is occupied with studying and understanding it.

However, rightly understood this familiar text is not so much the Lord’s Prayer as it is the prayer of the Lord’s disciples. Additionally, it is not to be unconsciously repeated. Rather, it is to be a guide for prayer. Jesus instructed His disciples about the proper order and contents of biblical prayer.

The prayer consists of six petitions. The first three focus on the glory of God. The remaining three pertain to our relationship with the One, True, and Glorious God. Its structure is similar to the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17). The first petition is Hallowed be your name. The second is Your kingdom come. The third is Your will be done. The fourth is Give us this day our daily bread. The fifth is forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. The sixth is “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Lead (εἰσφέρω; eisphero) is an active verb of probability. It concerns the certainty of God’s actions in the future. To lead means to bring about. It also means to cause something to occur. What is the leading for which believers pray to God? That He would not lead us into temptation.

Temptation (πειρασμός; periasmos) may mean a trap or a solicitation to evil. It may also mean a test or trial. The immediate context indicates the former meaning and not the latter.

The principle of Scripture interpreting Scripture is very important with any text’s interpretation. That principle is certainly important regarding todays. Scripture explicitly teaches that God does not tempt anyone. James 1:13-15 says, 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

“God does not tempt men (James 1:13), but he will subject them to trials that may expose them to Satan’s assaults, as in the case of Job (Job 1-2) and Peter (Luke 22:31–32). This petition reflects the believing one’s desire to avoid the dangers of sin altogether. God knows what one’s need is before one asks (Matt. 6:8), and he promises that no one will be subjected to testing beyond what can be endured. He also promises a way of escape—often through endurance (1 Cor. 10:13). But still, the proper attitude for the believer is the one expressed in this petition,” explains Dr. John MacArthur.

Make your fervent prayer today that the Lord would keep you from trials that could become temptations. Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Soli deo Gloria!

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