Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you:
This clause marks the climactic challenge of the three which the verse contains. It certainly equally bespeaks the climactic stage in the inner experience of many a timid, or doubting, or unbelieving, or disbelieving soul. After many askings of mere words, their accents betraying distrust; after wayward and intermittent seeking, that scarcely earned its name, at length strife and conflict have wrought themselves up to the crucial point, the task of one distinct effort. Upon that one distinct effort close has come the answer, and with this answer content and peace, progress and happiness, have come. In this third part of the triplet of reviving impulse offered by the language of Christ, the preacher may bring up the subject, make general and comprehensive observation of the working of human nature, as baulked by the difficulties incident to individual peculiarities of character (legion by name), to the petty and untractable tyrannies of habit, and to the confrontings of the events and circumstances of (that element, which acts so largely on human nature) the outer world, with all its cotemporary history, looming large now, and now diminishing to the deceptively trivial. The instances of the places and the manners, the concealed, unconscious motives, and the manifest determining impulses of the resurrections of the soul's life and health, are as boundlessly interesting as they are various and innumerable. And they show for how much misery and ruin the pale features of hesitation and indecision are answerable. Against all this, like the sound of some welcome trumpet of morning, are these words spoken by the voice of heaven upon earth, "Knock, and it shall be opened." Consider -
I. THE NECESSITY TO CHRISTIAN LIFE, TO THE BEGINNING OF IT AND CONTINUOUSLY TO THE VERY CLOSE OF IT, OF HOLDING A DIRECT, UNDIVIDED CONVICTION THAT THERE IS AN ACCESSIBLE AND AN APPROACHABLE PLACE OF MERCY AND OF VARIOUS HELP.
II. THE NECESSITY OF AN UNDETERRED FORCE OF RESOLUTION IN MAKING DEFINITE APPLICATION AT THAT PLACE.
III. THE SUGGESTION WHICH THE FIGURE HERE EMPLOYED CONTAINS, AS TO THREE LEADING PETITIONS FOR MERCY AND VARIOUS HELP, APPROPRIATELY MADE AT THAT PLACE CALLED A DOOR OR GATE, VIZ.
(1) INFORMATION AND DIRECTION ON THE ROAD;
(2) BREAD TO EAT, WINE TO DRINK;
(3) SHELTER FROM STORM PRESENT OR THREATENING, AND FOR THE CERTAINLY COMING NIGHT.
IV. THE UNLIMITED, UNCONDITIONED PROMISE. "It shall be opened." That you are challenged to "knock" points to the supposition that you have arrived at a door, and that a closed door. It also means that the door need not certainly remain closed, for that there is a power on the other side, from within, that may open it, to your wish, to your need, and to your confession and expression of the same. But in this case it means all this and yet much more; the challenge is accompanied with a promise to the full as unconditioned and unlimited. "It shall be opened.." On the other side there is compassion and there is good will, there is mercy and there is love; and these all decide to "open;" and their promise is engaged thereto. - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
WEB: "Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you.