“‘Our Father in heaven,Matthew 6:9b-13 (NIV)
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today 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 the evil one.’
As we continue to look for insights from the words Jesus included in the Lord’s Prayer, our next phrase is “hallowed be thy name.” The first word in this phrase is no longer commonly used. There is even a Family Circus cartoon which has Billy mistakenly thinking the phrase is “Harold be thy name.” The definition of this word is holy, consecrated, greatly revered, or honored. Clearly Jesus is indicating that the name of God should not be considered as just an ordinary name.
We are then prompted to consider what is so important about a name. A name is the first and chief identifier of a person. In the culture of the Hebrew people, a name represents the core of the person. By letting someone know your name, you were giving them power over you. You were allowing intimacy into your relationship. This is why the Jews were never allowed to speak the name of God aloud because it indicated an intimacy which they felt they were unworthy to have with God. This is similar to the custom once observed when children always referred to teachers and adults outside of their family by Mr., Ms., or Mrs. (last name).
The message Jesus provided in this phrase is the concept that God’s name should not be casually used. Instead, God’s name is to be used in a manner which is neither casual or profane. The use of God’s name should display the intimacy and reverence which we have with and toward God. A hearty amount of respect should be demonstrated in regard to the name of God.
To read Part 1, click here.
To read Part 2, click here.