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Matthew 7:7-11 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Matthew 7:7
  • Matthew 7:8
  • Matthew 7:9
  • Matthew 7:10
  • Matthew 7:11

Jesus teaches His disciples how much their heavenly Father delights in them coming to Him. He tells them to seek God and ask Him to provide for their needs. God knows how to give good gifts.

Jesus’s insight into the nature of His disciple’s relationship with God is both comforting and emboldening.

Jesus tells His disciples to come to God and ask Him to meet their needs. He begins with a trifold command and response. Ask; seek; knock are met with and it will be given to you; and you will find; and it will be opened to you.

It is easy to presume that asking an authority for help is an inconvenience to them or a rude display of manners on our part. Likewise, it is easy to presume that asking, seeking them out, or approaching their door to knock upon it is a waste of time. We think, “They are not going to give us the time of day.” Often, we are correct in our presumptions. Often, we act the same way to those we deem beneath us.

But God is not this way. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. God, as our Father who is in heaven, has a tender heart towards His children. He is never angry with us for asking. He is not too busy to be bothered by our requests, however small or large they may be. God is eager to give good gifts to those who ask Him! Just as a father loves his own children and wants to be with them, so too does God love us. He is delighted when we seek Him and ask Him for His help. It is too good to be true, and yet God and His grace are both abundant and available (John 1:16).

To illustrate these surprising truths, Jesus asks two rhetorical questions. What man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? (Rhetorical reply: No man among us would do that.) Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? (Rhetorical reply: No father would do such a thing.) There is no father who will trick his sons and do them harm when they come to him seeking something good.

Then Jesus makes His point: If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Jesus’s point is that God is a greater Father than any of us. And just as a young son approaches his earthly father, so can we can seek our heavenly Father, knock upon His door, and ask Him for anything at any hour without any need for hesitation or doubt. Our Father in heaven will be delighted to give what is good to those who ask Him.

This does not mean that we get to ask God for whatever we desire and then He grants us our wish. He is not a genie or a cosmic vending machine. He is God. And because He is God, He is the One who gets to define what is good—not us! God always has our best interest at heart. And He is all-knowing. He will only give us things that are good for us.

If we ask for things that are not good (i.e. things that are not in our best interest) Our Father, who is in heaven will not grant them to us, because He is good. As a good Father, God only gives His children good things that are in their best interest (James 1:17). We may fail to understand the goodness of His gifts, but when we lack this wisdom, we can ask God to give us the right perspective, and if we ask in faith He will give us this wisdom (James 1:5).

It is probably not an accident that this admonition comes directly after Jesus advises us on how to deal with those who have a speck in their eye (Matthew 7:5), and only provide the pearlsof wisdom to those ready to hear (Matthew 7:6). If we truly love others, we will offer them what is good for them. God is much more adept at discerning what we really need, and finding opportune times to provide it.

The admonitions to seek and knock indicate a heart that is willing to hear. A mind that is open to correction. A life that is seeking His righteousness, and therefore is willing to be corrected. The Bible is consistent in teaching that wisdom is among the greatest of treasures, and is clear that God is willing to give us all we will seek (Proverbs 3:13-20; 16:16; James 1:5; Revelation 3:14-21).

We can always come to God, our Father, and boldly ask Him for anything, trusting in His absolute goodness to give us exactly what we need. And we can always seek Him and knock upon His door even when we have behaved badly (Luke 15:20-24, 31; Revelation 3:19-20).

Biblical Text
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!




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