Which is the most important part of the Lord’s Prayer?
A bit of a non question, it is all important. … Isn’t it?
So why did Jesus only comment on one verse? And why was he so harsh? Here’s the verse and its comment:
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgiveness is the only bit of the Lord’s prayer Jesus commented on at the time. If you do not forgive you will not forgiven. The logic of the phrase is uncompromising. And harsh. At least it would be if it was about logic, and all those uncompromising preachers would be right.
But fortunately for us the Gospel is not about logic, but about relationship.
God became human in Jesus Christ, died for the sins of humans and rose from the dead, to give victory over death to humans. All that God did through Jesus is a relationship of love with people. Not just the super pious people, but also the lonely poor and broken people.
God loves to forgive, which is very good news, especially for those who have a greater need of forgiveness. It is God’s nature to forgive, that is how his love works. God wants us to forgive others, for in forgiving we act like God: or rather how God wants us to act.
That is OK in theory, in practice it is very difficult. Fortunately that too is God’s job, or rather God’s power working through us.
More about this in the next blog.