This is part two in a three part series on The Lord’s Prayer by Dr. George Parsenios, Sessional Professor of New Testament at St. Vladimir’s Seminary and Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary. This article is republished with the permission of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
The parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-35 provides a clear illustration of this petition. A servant begged his master to forgive him the enormous debt he had run up, but that same servant refused to forgive his fellow servant a paltry sum. The parable concludes with the admonition that God’s forgiveness is possible only if “you forgive your brother from your heart.” If we are to enjoy God’s forgiveness in the future, “when the master returns,” we must forgive one another in the present (see also Matt. 5:21-26).