Ask, Search, Knock Mt 7:7-11, Lk 11:5-13
7 ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!12 ‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is (all) the law and the prophets
5 And he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.” 7 And he answers from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.” 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. 9 ‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’
Mt 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given to you It is an exhortation to prayer: Christ says Ask, seek, knock, he also arouses us from our inactivity, with a promises (which needs to be claimed) , Ye shall find, it shall be given to you, and it shall be opened .
It becomes easy to pray when we are convinced that our prayers would be heard. When Christ says ‘shall find, it shall be given to you, and it shall be opened’ He also gives us the promise. faith & assurance that our prayers will not be fruitless.
“through Jesus Christ our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him,” (Ephesians 3:11,12.)
We do not ASK, SEEK, & KNOCK because these seem to be far away from our paradigms, The promise, faith and the assurance gets them close at hand.
Mt: 7: 8. For every one that asks, receives. If this is true in life. Will this not be true with God. God will listen provide we pray, exhort……ask, seek & knock.
You ask & you receive
You seek & you find.
You knock & the doors would be opened.
Mt.7: 9. We are not perfect, only human, but don’t we all try to give our families, children the best. Have we not received the best our parents could afford. Then the Lord who sacrificed his only son so that we could be redeemed, In all his goodness open his heart & allow the boundless & overflowing of him self.
Whence comes this, but because God, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, (Eph 3:15,)
“Though a mother forget her children,” (Is 49:15,) yet the Lord will be like himself and will always show himself to be a Father.
11. Your Father will give good things, We must not think that he takes no notice of us, when he does not answer our wishes: for he has a right to distinguish what we actually need. He who desires to approach God with the conviction that he will be heard, must learn to restrain his heart from asking anything that is not agreeable to his will.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:3)
We ought never to forget the exhortation, Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all other things shall be added to you, (Matthew 6:33.)
Luke 11: 5. However difficult things may seem to be, Jesus tell us to be persistent, we have no reason to doubt that God will listen to us, if we persevere constantly in prayer, and if our minds do not slacken through difficulty or delay.
The theme of Giving and Receiving. (Mt 7:7-12).
is climaxed in Vs. 12 The Golden Rule In everything ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you’
The Father's example. Mt 7:7-11 is clearly related to the teaching on prayer found in Mt 6:5-15. (on how & what to pray) …… ‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
If this is not the way to pray then how would you:
Mt 6 9-14 Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread. 12And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one 14For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Mt 7:7-11 We are not only permitted to ask God for things, but commanded to do so. However, the principal subject of Mt 7:7-11 is not prayer (had it been, would not Matthew have placed this material with that of Mt 6:5-15), but personal relationships (as noted above). It is not what we deserve or desire that gains credence in with Lord but his grace to give.
Mt 7:12 As noted, 7:12 begins with the conjunction "therefore" (found in KJV Jesus, by calls for positive acts of love. He does not permit his disciples to rest comfortably The call is for radical obedience.
The disciples remain "evil" (v. 11a). Nevertheless they are members of the New Community from whom obedience is expected (Mt 5:21-48)….v21 Jesus speaks concerning anger, , v27 he speaks regarding adultery,v31 on divorce, v33 on oaths, v38 on retaliation, & 43 on loving your enemies. Jesus calls upon them to follow the Father's example of gracious love.
Moreover, the command of v. 12 relates to the subject of vv.Mt 7: 1-5 (on judgment ) "the Golden Rule demands a Father-like graciousness which forestalls the judging prohibited at the start of the section (vv 1-5)" Cf.
Rom 12:21, "Do not be overcome by evil [by judging others], but overcome evil with good [by loving others]."
The sum of the whole matter concludes at Mt 7:12.
In closing this section, Jesus emphasizes the vital importance of love to neighbor in v. 12 the word "all" is lacking. In Mt 22:37-40, which concerns love for both God and neighbor, the phrase is "all the Law and the Prophets," v. 40.)
Having thus concluded his exposition of the Law,
Jesus now turns to exhortations based on that instruction.
The Virtue Of Perseverance Mt. 7:7-11
1. Why do some people...
a. Succeed in having their prayers answered?
b. Have a greater understanding of the Bible?
c. Reach more souls for Christ?
-- Is it skill, genius, or luck?
2. The answer is suggested by Calvin Coolidge:
Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance”
3. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus talked about the virtue of perseverance...
a. Especially in its relevance to prayer
Mt 5 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. 8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
b. Giving us motivation to persevere in our service to God
[Our text is Mt 7:7-11, in which we find Jesus teaching about...]
I. THE PRINCIPLE OF "PERSEVERANCE" (7-8)
7“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened
A. PERSEVERANCE IS IMPLIED IN THESE VERSES...
1. By the tense of the Greek
a. It is the present tense, which most often stresses
b. Literally, then, Jesus is saying:
1) "keep on asking," and it will be given to you
2) "keep on seeking," and you will find
3) "keep on knocking," and it will be opened to you
2. By the progression of the terms themselves
a. "asking" is one level of inquiry
b. "seeking" suggests a step up, as one goes about to find what they ask
c. "knocking" is another step up, as one persists in finding that which they seek (asking plus action plus persevering,
B. PERSEVERANCE IS PARTICULARLY RELEVANT...
1. To the matter of "prayer"
a. As later implied in Mt 7:11
b. Jesus often stressed persistence in teaching on prayer
1) In the parable of "The Persistent Friend" – Lk 11:5-8
2) In the parable of "The Persistent Widow" –Lk 18:1-8
2. To the matter of "Bible study"
a. Many people give up too soon in their Bible studies
b. But those who persevere in their studies are the ones who benefit from the blessings God's Word provides –
Ps 1:1-3; 119:97-104
3. To the matter of "evangelism"
a. Many do not bear fruit because they give up too soon
b. But we reap what we sow; the more persistent we are in sowing, the more we will eventually reap
II. A MOTIVE FOR PERSEVERANCE (9-11)
A. GOD DELIGHTS TO GIVE GOOD THINGS TO HIS CHILDREN...
1. To illustrate, Jesus gives a simple argument (from the lesser to the greater)
a. I.e., men give good gifts to their children who ask
b. How much more so, will our Father in heaven!
2. Jesus stressed this Fatherly attribute of God in His sermon
a. In regards to our physical necessities - Mt 6:31-32
b. And now in regards to things that are good for us – Mt 7:11
B. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE IN REGARDS TO PRAYER!
1. As Jesus promised to His disciples in Jn 15:7
a. Conditioned upon our abiding in Him
b. Conditioned upon His words abiding in us
2. As the apostle John wrote in 1Jn 5:14-15
a. Conditioned upon our asking according to His will
b. Which assumes we know His will for us (i.e., His word is abiding in us)
3. And as James wrote in Jm 4:3
a. Presuming we are not asking for personal and selfish gain
b. But many do not enjoy God's favor, simply because they do not ask!
1. To persevere, then, is a noble virtue, especially in regards to prayer...
a. We have a Father in heaven who is not untouched by the persistent pleas of His children
b. Providing we do not ask amiss, persistent prayers will not go unanswered!
2. If we desire to receive, find, and have doors opened to us, then let us...
a. Keep on asking
b. Keep on seeking
c. Keep on knocking
...not only in regards to prayer, but in all ventures worthy of Christians
Have you asked, sought, or knocked today...?
Collated by: Tony DIAS
St. Joseph’s Church. VIKHROLI.. Mumbai. INDIA
http://www.tonydias.page.tl Nov 2012