And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Ask, and it shall be given you.—See Notes on Matthew 7:7-11; but note (1) the greater impressiveness of the opening words, “And I say unto you, . . . “as connected with the previous illustration; and (2) the addition of the “scorpion” to the “serpent,” as though the recent combination of the two words in Luke 10:19 had so associated them that the one was naturally followed by the other.Luke 11:9-10. I say unto you, Ask, &c. — Pray frequently, and be most earnest and importunate in your prayers, because thus you shall obtain whatsoever you ask agreeably to the will of God. For if importunity would prevail thus with a man that was displeased at it, much more will it prevail with God, who is infinitely more kind and ready to do good to us than we are one to another; and is not displeased at our importunity, but accepts it, especially when the object of it is spiritual mercies. If he do not answer our prayers, and grant our requests presently, yet he will answer them in due time, if we continue to pray and exercise faith in his power, love, and faithfulness. Ask, therefore, what God in his word authorizes you to ask, and what you are persuaded it would be for God’s glory that you should receive, and it shall be given you — Either the thing itself which you ask, or that which is equivalent; either the removal of the thorn in the flesh, or grace sufficient to enable you to bear it. Of this we have an assurance from Christ’s own mouth, who knows his Father’s mind, and in whom all the promises of God are yea and amen. But we must not only ask, we must also seek, in the use of means; must second our prayers with our endeavours; and in asking and seeking, we must continue urgent, still knocking at the same door, and we shall at length prevail. For every one that asketh receiveth — Even the meanest saint shall have his petition granted, that asks earnestly, importunately, and in faith. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, Psalm 34:6. When we ask of God those things which Christ, in the above prayer, has directed us to ask, namely, that his name may be sanctified; that his kingdom may come, and his will be done; — in these requests we must be importunate, and must never hold our peace day or night. See on Matthew 7:7-8; where the same passage occurs.Matthew 7:7-11.See Poole on "Luke 11:5"
seek, and ye shall find: whether it be Christ, the pearl of great price, or God in Christ; or particularly, pardoning grace and mercy through Christ, or the knowledge of divine things; and both grace here, and glory hereafter, as men seek for hidden treasure; such shall not lose their labour, but shall enjoy all these valuable things, and whatever they are by prayer, and in the use of other means, seeking after:
knock, and it shall be opened to you; the door of mercy with God; the door of fellowship with Christ; the door of the Gospel, and the mysteries of it and of the Gospel dispensation and church state, into which is admission, to all that seek; and the door of heaven, into which there is entrance by the blood of Jesus: the several phrases denote prayer, the continuance of it, and importunity in it; See Gill on Matthew 7:7And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 11:9-10. Comp. Matthew 7:7 f. Practical application of the above, extending to Luke 11:13, in propositions which Christ may have repeatedly made use of in His exhortations to prayer.
κἀγὼ ὑμῖν λέγω] Comp. Luke 16:9. Also I say unto you. Observe (1) that κἀγώ places what Jesus is here saying in an incidental parallel with the δώσει αὐτῷ ὅσων χρήζει which immediately precedes: that according to the measure of this granting of prayer, to that extent goes also His precept to the disciples, etc.; (2) that next to κἀγώ the emphasis rests on ὑμῖν (in Luke 11:8 the emphasis rested upon λέγω), inasmuch as Jesus declares what He also, on His part, gives to the disciples to take to heart. Consequently κἀγώ corresponds to the subject of δώσει, and ὑμῖν to the αὐτῷ of Luke 11:8. The teaching itself, so far as Jesus deduces it from that παραβολή, depends on the argument a minori ad majus: If a friend in your usual relations of intercourse grants to his friend even a troublesome petition, although not from friendship, yet at least for the sake of getting quit of the petitioner’s importunity; how much more should you trust in God that He will give you what you pray for! The tendency of the παραβολή points therefore not, as it is usually understood, to perseverance in prayer, for of this, indeed, Jesus says nothing in His application, Luke 11:9-10, but to the certainty of prayer being heard.Luke 11:9-13. The moral of the story (cf. Matthew 7:7-11).—κἀγὼ ὑμῖν, etc., and I (the same speaker as in Luke 11:8) say to you, with equal confidence. What Jesus says is in brief: you also will get what you want from God, as certainly as the man in my tale got what he wanted; therefore pray on, imitating his ἀναίδεια. The selfish neighbour represents God as He seems, and persistent prayer looks like a shameless disregard of His apparent indifference.9. Ask, and it shall be given you] Matthew 7:7-11; Mat 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 16:23. Doubtless these teachings were repeated more than once to different listeners. God’s unwillingness to grant is never more than in semblance, and for our good (Matthew 15:28; Genesis 32:28).Luke 11:9. Καὶ δοθήσεται, and it shall be given) as to that friend in the parable.Verses 9, 10. - And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall he opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Then the Lord - taking advantage of the state of mind into which his strange words had brought his hearers - made, as Professor Bruce well points out, the solemn declaration on which, and not on the parable, he desired the tried soul to lay the stress of its faith: "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you," etc. Jesus here pledges that those who act in accordance with this counsel shall find the event justify it. This statement, that those who pray to God shall surely be heard, rests absolutely on Christ's authority. It is not given as a fact which is self-evident, but as a fact which he, the Speaker, knows to be true. The man in bed is pictured in the parable as utterly selfish, regardless of his poorer neighbor's wants and sufferings. So God seems to us often, as we pray to him day after day, month after month, and our prayer receives no answer; he merely appears to us then as a passionless Spectator of the tragedies and comedies of time. "Children," said the Savior," the selfish man of my story yields to constant importunity. Think ye God, who only seems to be deaf to man's pleading voice that he may deepen his faith and educate his soul - think ye God is not listening all the while, and will not in the end, in all his glorious generosity, grant the prayer? Only pray on."
The word for the asking of an inferior (Acts 12:20; Acts 3:2); and hence of man from God (Matthew 7:7; James 1:5). Christ never uses the word of his own asking from the Father, but always ἐρωτῶ, as asking on equal terms. Martha shows her low conception of his person when she uses the term of his asking God (John 11:22).
Ask, seek, knock
"The three repetitions of the command are more than mere repetitions; since to seek is more than to ask, and to knock than to seek" (Trench, "Parables").
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