Matthew 7:7-12 Ask, Seek, Knock

Matthew 7:7-12            Ask, Seek, Knock                             WC McCarter

We can certainly state those things that are sins, and we should definitely help people who are struggling in sin.  The point that we made last week from Matt 7:1-6 was that we must not demean others.  We must not be fault-finding, severely critical, assuming a position of authority.

What happened in Orlando this past week gives us pause, and now is an appropriate time to consider our response and thought process concerning these things.  In the early hours of June 12, 2016 a “Gay Night Club” was struck by a hate-filled, Muslim terrorist who shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 others.  One thing is certain- This was an attack on America.  The shooter pledged allegiance to ISIS, and ISIS claimed the man as one of theirs.  Now, as Christians, we know that the Lord is not pleased with those who practice homosexuality.  Over and over again, that lifestyle is condemned in Scripture (Lev 18:22; Rom 1:26-32; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:9-10; Jude 7; et al.).  Marriage is raised as a beautiful union between a man and a woman from the opening chapters of the Bible to the closing chapters.  Of course, there are all kinds of sinful lifestyles which are condemned in the Scriptures.  However, in light of the circumstances surrounding the recent massacre, many are asking questions such as, Do you suppose that these calamities in Orlando happened because those folks were worse sinners than all other Americans?  Did they deserve what happened to them?  Jesus spoke to this same sort of issue in His own day in Luke 13:1-5.  Let me share His response.

Luke 13:1-5—There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.  Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?  I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

On that occasion, Jesus said to repent.
During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said to pray.

You see, it is so easy for us to point the Pharisaic-finger at other people and make fun or say, They got what they deserved.  What if the Lord gave us what we deserve?  Ah, but we are perfect, are we not?  We are righteous in and of ourselves.  We do not sin.  The perfect, holy, righteous Creator-Judge of the universe will not find any moral failings in us, right?  I think we know better.  Jesus taught in Luke 13 for us to repent, in Matthew 7 He tells us to pray.

READ Scripture- This is the Word of God

Ask, Seek, Knock (7-8)
Last week, we were given three reasons to not demean others.  This week, we are given a three-fold description of prayer: ask, see, knock.  Instead of criticizing others, we are to pray for them.

Good Gifts (9-11)
An argument from the lesser to the greater: If mere mortals/evil people know how to give good things to their children, how much more so will our Heavenly Father know how to give us everything we need?

Illustration: So, the picture is of a child approaching his father with a request, especially a request in behalf of someone else.  I think of Aubrie playing with some of the little girls in our neighborhood.  They will run around, ride bikes/scooters, play on the swing-set, and other things, and Aubrie will soon come over to Bridget or me and ask for a popsicle.  But, she doesn’t ask just for herself, she will say something to the effect of, “Daddy, can we have popsicles; me and my friends.”  How can a parent say no to a request that is so loving and sincere?  She doesn’t just want good gifts for herself but also for her neighbors.

Application: The Jews rarely attributed this kind of power in prayer to anyone.  As one writer says, “Only a small number of sages were considered pious enough to have such power with God” (Keener, 245).  And yet, Jesus gives this promise to all of His disciples, all of God’s people.  We can all approach God in prayer expecting to receive, find, and have the door opened.  Why, then, would we not spend significant time in prayer for ourselves, our families, our church, and those around us who are struggling in sin?

The Golden Rule (12)
Verse 12 summarizes the big idea of verses 1-12 for us.  It is a lesson that should have been learned in childhood, but sadly it is not one that we have remembered: treat others the way you want to be treated.