Be joyful in HOPE,
patient in affliction,
faithful in prayer.
Share with the Lord’s
people who are in need.
Romans 12:12-13

Mid-Week Lent 1- 2023


Prayer: Dear God, don’t let Your Name and Word be holy everywhere except among us. Give us Your Holy Spirit so we humble ourselves under Your Word and confess Your Name. Amen!

Sermon Text, Matthew 26:59-66.

Dear fellow redeemed in Christ:

Caiaphas puts Jesus under oath to speak the truth before God to answer “if You are the Christ, the Son of God,” and Jesus does. He speaks His own holy name. He identifies Himself as “the Son of Man.” Son of Man is another title for the Christ. Jesus, who is the Truth, speaks the truth.

The supreme irony here is when Caiaphas says, “He has spoken blasphemy!” He calls the Truth – that Jesus is the Son of God – a lie. Blasphemy means to declare yourself to be God when you are not; or to declare something to be from God when it is not; or just to dishonor God’s name. Jesus is the Christ, the true God; He can’t dishonor His own name, especially as He speaks the truth. But Caiaphas says, “He has spoken blasphemy!” and the council agrees that it’s blasphemy.

They say “He is deserving of death,” which is false, but they call it true. They dishonor His holy name, but Jesus speaks the truth and thus honors His own holy name. It’s easy to see that this is about the First Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Hallowed be Thy name.”

This petition is about God’s Word and His name. His name is holy among us as we believe His Word and live according to it. “Hallowed be Thy name” is about truth. His Word and His name are holy, nothing can change that, just as Caiaphas can’t change who Jesus is, no matter how loudly he cried “blasphemy!” He was fighting a losing battle against the Truth – Jesus.

This is what we have to remember about this petition. We are praying for the Word and true doctrine. But the Word can’t lose. The Truth cannot be damaged. But we can, if we fight against it. It’s what we’re praying about.

So we can’t look down on Caiaphas tonight. His resistance to the Truth, his demand that the Truth must submit to his agenda, it’s all too familiar.

Sometimes the truth is uncomfortable. There’s the truth about your sins that you can’t escape. There’s the truth that reveals your own hypocrisies, how you look down on the sins of others but make excuses for yourself. There’s the truth you want to ignore, where God’s Word condemns what you want to go soft on. Then there are things you want to argue with and complain to God about. Sometimes you don’t agree with the trials He sends. We turn into little Caiaphases, putting God and His Word on trial, we make ourselves the judge of whether His ways are best.

But even when you’re on the side of the truth, when you defend the truth of His Word, when you say Amen to everything, there’s a back-door attack by the devil. Even if you don’t listen to His lies, he makes you tired of always having to defend the truth. So many attacks, so many people mocking you and looking down on you because of the truth, and what do you feel? Tired of it all. You want to avoid having to do it some more.

This is why Jesus stands before Caiaphas. He is the Truth. You are not the defender of the truth, He is. He loves the truth perfectly and never wears out in this love. He defends His truth. He defends you with the truth. He stands in your place taking all the insults. He can take it.

Every time we pray “Hallowed be Thy name,” we admit that we can’t do it and we’re asking God to keep us in His Word especially in time of temptation. We pray this prayer because we can’t do it well.

If we put ourselves into this scene we must admit that we don’t stand the test. But you know what that is? Telling the truth. Jesus loves this! He said to Nicodemus: “He who does the truth comes to the light” (Jn 3:20-21).

This is what you do when you tell the truth about your sins. You do the truth. You come to the Light – to Jesus! You’re humbling yourself under His Word. Letting His Word form your faith and determine how you live.

Jesus loves to hear you tell the truth about yourself as a sinner. Then He tells you the truth about your forgiveness!

That is the essence of Jesus as the Truth. He forgives sins. “If we say that we have no sin, the truth is not in us” (1 Jn 1:8). But as soon as you say that you have sins, Jesus has the truth of forgiveness spoken to you. Then the Truth – Jesus Christ – is in you, and all sin must flee away. You are made one with the Truth, Jesus Christ. Then by His strength and power, you dare all things for the truth. This is how His name is hallowed among us. Amen!

Catechism (spoken after the sermon)

Lord’s Prayer, First Petition

Hallowed be Thy name.

What does this mean?

God’s name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be holy among us also.

How is God’s name hallowed?

God’s name is hallowed when His Word is taught in its truth and purity, and we as the children of God live holy lives according to it. This grant us, dear Father in heaven! But he who teaches and lives otherwise than the Word of God teaches, dishonors God’s name among us. From this preserve us, heavenly Father!