We concluded our study of The Prodigal Son (Luke 15) this morning. When the son said to his father, “Give me the share of the property that is coming to me;” he was really saying “Gimme what is coming to me now.”
The son’s request falls in with Judas request of the chief priests in Matthew 26. “What will you give me (gimme) if I deliver (give) him (Jesus) over to you?”
We have a similar request/demand in I Kings 21. King Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house.” Ahab even offers to give Naboth a better vineyard in exchange. The question is, how did Ahab get the vineyard he is now willing to give to Naboth. And if Naboth doesn’t want another vineyard, Ahab is willing pay cash for it. But Naboth refuses because his vineyard is a part of the family heritage handed down for generations. That piece of ground was regarded as God’s gift to his clan. Ahab proposes to tear up his God given vineyard and use it for a vegetable garden. Jezebel vows to take care of the matter. She, in a trumped up trial, gets some worthless men to testify against Naboth and soon Ahab has his coveted piece of ground. (This tragic miscarriage of justice is similar to that carried out against Jesus.)
When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, taught them to pray for their daily food. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Notice, we do not pray “Give me my daily bread.” We pray that as we received our food that God would grant food to everyone else. We also don’t pray for a cart full of groceries, but enough to get us through today. We’ll trust God to supply us what we need for tomorrow, tomorrow.
I asked in class whether anyone has just enough food for today. No one was down to their last slice of bread. And so Luther writes in his explanation of this petition, “But we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.”