Matthew 7:7-12
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you:

From the subject of giving our Lord turns to that of asking. The text instructs us in -


1. It is asking.

(1) Asking of God. He requires our prayer, not to induce him to give, but to fit us to receive.

(2) Asking implies want. We have needs for our fellows; for ourselves - temporal, spiritual (cf. ver. 11; Luke 11:13).

(3) We ask with the heart.

2. It is seeking.

(1) Seeking for the hidden riches of promise.

(2) Seeking implies loss. The loss of God. The loss of heaven. The loss of the soul.

(3) This term "seek" suggests the way, viz. to eternal life. To asking we add diligent endeavour.

(4) We seek with the understanding.

3. It is knocking.

(1) To seeking we add importunity. Our need is urgent. Our loss is serious.

(2) Knocking suggests perseverance. "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me."

(3) It suggests, moreover, the obtaining of admission to the house and kingdom of God.

(4) We knock with the life.


1. In the promises of God.

(1) "Ye shall receive;" "Ye shall find; It shall be opened."

(2) They are free for all. "Every one that asketh," etc. Jew and Gentile. Rich and poor. Bond and free. No sinner is too vile.

2. In the character of the promises.

(1) Our Father. We give good gifts to our children. He is the Author of our nature. He made us after his own image.

(2) The Father of goodness. We are evil: "If ye then, being evil. Here is a testimony to original sin. Yet natural affection will not allow us to give our' child a stone for bread, a scorpion for a fish. The good father cannot mock his children with false promises. He delights to give good things

(3) Note: Christ speaking in the second person, If ye then, being evil," excepts himself from original sin. Through the merits (,f the Son of God we receive.

(4) Sonship comes in with prayer. "How much more will your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"


1. These are given in the promises.

(1) They are sometimes expressed in them.

(2) They are evermore implied.

(3) Without compliance with the conditions we have no claim upon the promises (cf. James 1:5-7; James 4:3; 1 John 5:14).

2. They are embodied in the golden rule.

(1) Prayer, to have weight with God, must be in charity towards men. As our heavenly Father is kind to us, so in kindness to our fellows are we his children (see Matthew 5:45). Let our brotherly love be practical, and our Father will acknowledge us in blessing.

(2) The equity of this rule comes home to every conscience. Read it negatively: "What ye would not that men should do unto you," etc. Read it positively: "What ye would," etc. "If our heart condemn us, then have we not confidence before God" (see 1 John 3:19-22).

(3) This rule sums up the Law and the prophets (cf. Matthew 22:39, 40; Romans 13:8; Galatians 5:14). The Law, prophets, and gospel are essentially one. The gospel is the spirit and glory of the Law. The prophets bring the gospel out of the Law by anticipation. The golden rule is the law of heaven.

3. Apply this rule.

(1) In thought. Where, then, will be evil surmisings and suspicions?

(2) In word. Where, then, will be evil-speaking; abuse, backbiting, detraction?

(3) In deed. In buying and selling. In service and remuneration.

(4) This law requires, not exchanges of states, but simply of places. Exchanges of states would be exchanges of identity, so nothing would be gained.

(5) To fulfil this rule we need the converting grace and constant help of God. - J.A.M.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

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