7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7
According to some sources, this verse is among the 25 most often quoted and favorite Bible verses. We’ve seen it on billboards. Some would consider it out used out of context on many occasions. Let’s see what we learn about it.
Almost every commentary in regards to this scripture references prayer. But I don’t see where Jesus said anything about prayer, do you? Well, maybe back several verses ago, but we don’t see commentaries saying judge not is related to prayer. So why all of a sudden is this referencing prayer? Jesus didn’t say “pray and it will be given to you.” *shrugs* maybe we’ll see this later on as we work our way though, but for now … the words used here are:
- Ask – αἰτέω aiteō ahee-teh’-o Of uncertain derivation; to ask (in generally): – ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require. – Strong’s
- Seek – ζητέω zēteō dzay-teh’-o Of uncertain affinity; to seek (literally or figuratively); specifically (by Hebraism) to worship (God), or (in a bad sense) to plot (against life): – be (go) about, desire, endeavour, enquire (for), require, (X will) seek (after, for, means).
- Knock – κρούω krouō kroo’-o Apparently a primary verb; to rap: – knock.
Sometimes we humans like to make things sound more complicated than they need to be. To some, prayer is intimidating. But it’s really just a basic conversation with our Provider. Just ask. It’s as simple as knocking on someone’s door, but in this case, it’s the door of our Provider.
It shouldn’t be intimidating. There isn’t a formula, *kneel, bow your head, close your eyes, quiet your mind, say specific words, moment of silence, conclude with Amen,* it’s just a conversation, a request. Jesus just says ask, seek, knock. If you can ask for directions, time off, a drink, or what the weather is going to be like, you can ask the Father as well.
If you ask, seek, or knock, you will receive. But what if I don’t know what to ask for? What if I ask for something wrong? What if what I want isn’t in God’s will? What if ….
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? Matthew 7
What? Isn’t the fish/snake thing just a bit of over kill Jesus? Cricky!
11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7
Think about this one for a moment or two. Have you complained about a situation in your life? I wonder sometimes if more often than not, we are actually asking for a snake and He gives us bread? How many prayers we think have gone unanswered, yet we received unnoticed?
It says He will give ‘good’ gifts – which would be things which would not harm us (like a nasty snake). How would we know the difference when we can’t see into our future?
Thinking about the number of times we’ve heard stories about someone trying desperately to get to a flight on time, probably uttering a prayer or two under their breath. They miss the plane, are frustrated, and maybe even angry – only to hear later how the plane crashed and everyone on board was killed?
A few posts ago we posted about Frame of Reference, this is another good example of how we may need to change our frame of reference.
The take away from this seems to be just ask, seek, knock. Let God decided whether what you are asking for is a piece of bread or a snake. And trust that He will give you good gifts … IF you ask, seek, or knock.