Tuesday, June 02, 2009

As John the Baptist Taught His Disciples

Once Jesus was praying in a certain place. After he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." Luke 11:1
And also Matthew 6: 5 - 14

Nowhere in the Bible do we see John teaching his disciples how to pray. But he did. And it seems that Jesus had been with his disciples -- some of whom were also John's disciples-- a while without teaching them how to pray. That's odd. I find myself thinking, "Uhm, isn't that the first thing one would teach one's disciples."

But somewhere along the line his disciples developed the desire to ask Jesus for something he seemed not to have as yet offered. Another interesting thing I should meditate on.

The disciples might have seen some great miracles Jesus did. It might only because they saw him talking to God so often. And they began to realize that a close relationship with God was a good idea. From what we can see in the various gospels, it was a combination of these and other reasons that prompted them to ask Jesus.

Whatever the reason, they asked Jesus to teach them and I'd assume that the way Jesus
teaches people to pray would be different from the way John taught people to pray. There'd be some crossover and overlap of course. But John who knew only the baptism of water for the repentance from sin and who was a servant in the house of God would naturally teach prayer as a servant-minded water-baptizer would do. Jesus, on the other hand, baptized with the fire of the holy spirit. John was not worthy to untie his shoe. (And John is more worthy than most of us, even though the spirit was upon him.) Jesus was the son. The son can tell you how to ask the father for something. The son can tell you to use his name. The son can tell you how to speak to the servants and those in submission to you. So yeah, the son can tell you how to boldly go to the father, boldly command the tree to pick itself up, etc.

Most Christian ministers nowadays know only the water baptism of repentance from dead works. Like Apollos they are great preachers but they know only the baptism of John. And many of them say that the baptism of John is the only baptism necessary. Yes, they have God's holy spirit working in them because they are saved but they don't know the full gospel or they deny it?

I downloaded some videos from the elijah challenge website and what he says is below. It falls in well with what I was pondering about John the Baptist.

They know the prophetic way of praying and preaching but they don't know the kingly way of commanding. Jesus was Lord, Prophet, King, Savior, The True and Great High Priest. John was only a prophet. A prophet speaks to people and when they pray they pray as prophets do. He might also have had a bit of the priestly anointing as the old prophets did. A priest intercedes between God and man. In the book of Kings, Chronicles, and the Torah, those old prophets could pray for people who had sinned and could pray for the sick. But they really weren't priests. The priestly anointing, the prophetic anointing, the kingly anointing were all separated. In Jesus, though, all these anointings are one. So he prays differently and he has given us these same anointings: We are a holy people, a royal priesthood.

This means that we can pray to God for others (the priestly anointing) and we can speak to people and to the spiritual realm about God and God's power in us (prophetic anointing) and we can command sickness and demons in the spiritual realm (the kingly anointing.)

Jesus has taught us how to pray. In the Lord's prayer, in the statement about the fig tree, in the affirmation that we can command a mulberry to uproot itself and be planted in the sea (Mulberries require fresh water but hey, Jesus said if we have the tiniest purest faith and we can command it, the impossible can be done!) Hey, we can have more than we're able to ask or wish. It is not the greatness of the faith that matters but our endurance and what we believe in our spirits and in our hearts.

Lord, teach us how to pray! Amen. -C
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