Matthew 7:7-8

Rather than giving us explanations, God has given us promises.  Someone has well said that God’s entire communication with us can be summed up in the words, “I promise.”  How we relate to God and are conformed to Christ’s image is largely determined by what we do with His promises. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus promised His disciples, “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.” Truly, this is one of the greatest promises that Jesus has given to the citizens in His kingdom!

This famous text is not a ‘blank check’ for us to satisfy our material desires.  Rather, it tells us how to pray for the character of the kingdom in our lives.  It teaches us to pray that our morals and ethics will be like Christ’s. Jesus teaches us how to pray for our spiritual lives. He says that His disciples are known for their persistent faith.  We are to ask, we are to seek, and we are to knock. It is a reminder to us that we need grace, and that God is gracious.  It means that God is faithful to give us everything we need to do His will.

There is a progression of intensity in the verbs, moving from a simple request to a diligent search, culminating in a persistent desire. The language of verse 7 is very compelling because the verbs command a growing level of intensity.  “Ask” implies making a request for some conscious need.  The word also suggests humility in making request, for it was commonly used of a soldier who asked something from his superior. The next step, “seek,” involves asking but also includes action.  The idea is not merely to express one’s need, but to get up and look around for help, involving effort on the person’s part. The word “knock” includes asking plus seeking, and also an added component of perseverance like someone pounding on a closed door. These three verbs are all in the present imperative tense, which suggests the idea of continuation.  Jesus is saying, “Keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking.”

Jesus is driving home this point—the church must be persistent in her prayer life and in her faith.  We don’t give up when the going gets tough.  We don’t take an off ramp when the road gets steep.  We don’t retreat when the enemy rears his ugly head. When the ground beneath them begins to shake, those who are true believers demonstrate persistent faith.  They must express a confident trust in their heavenly Father who delights in giving good gifts to His children.

For more, read Hebrews 11:1-40