Most of us are all for forgiveness as it concerns our need to be forgiven by God, through Christ, for our sins. But, if we are honest, we’d likely prefer that the forgiveness be “unconditional” in nature. That is, we understand and appreciate that nothing we can do will earn or purchase the forgiveness of God’s grace as it is so generously poured out on us by Jesus.
So, why is it that when it comes to praying for forgiveness, in the prayer taught his disciples, Jesus makes it a “conditional” request? Do you remember this phrase of the Lord’s Prayer?: Forgive us our sins (trespasses) as we forgive those who sin (trespass) against us.
Do you know the word “quotidian”? It means “occurring” or “belonging to every day.” Something is quotidian when it is commonplace, ordinary, daily. Think cooking, eating, bathing or grooming, laundry! These are daily tasks or chores that we engage in. Getting up and going to work is quotidian for many of us (or used to be if we are retired). We are creatures who live a daily rhythm.
Is it any wonder, then, that Jesus put something about “daily” into his model prayer? Give us this day our daily bread. This is ever bit as important a phrase in this prayer as those that precede and follow it. There is something important, about faith and discipleship that happens in the daily.
There are three places in the Gospel of John where “lifted up” sayings appear. Each of these are quotes from Jesus. Here they are:
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up” – John 3:14
“When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” – John 8:28
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” – John 12:32
This “lifted up” wording may sound strange to us, but Jesus and his contemporaries knew exactly what he meant. In first century Palestine the primary way a person was “lifted up” was by crucifixion. Jesus is forecasting his death, and the means by which he will die, in these sayings. Continue reading