Today I want to look at verses 7-11 of chapter 7, once again focusing on who Jesus was speaking to, and on the context of the entire message.
(7)“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (8)For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (9)Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? (10)Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? (11)If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
This is a tough one, as on the surface it sounds like if we ask, seek and knock, we will get what we want. Of course, that does not fly in the whole context of Scripture, but for some, that is not an issue. But what if we look at in context? If Jesus is trying to give us an understanding of how to restore a correct relationship with God, then how can this be understood?
One thought that comes to mind is His model prayer earlier. He prayed, "Give us this day our daily bread," and "forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." (Matthew 6:12,13) Not, prayer for whatever you need. Hmmm. So maybe, when we are asking, seeking, knocking, it is with this type of mindset that we approach God. Look at the example that follows. No good father will give a son who is asking for bread a stone instead. It does not say anything about the son who requests a new car or gaming station. Hmmm. What kind of gifts does the father give? Good gift. Not any or every gift, but good ones. Maybe things like the necessities of life. Maybe even more that just necessities. Sometimes a good father knows when to say no.
A good father gives good gifts, but not every gift. A good son appreciates the good gifts that a good father gives. God is a good Father, are we good children?