Sunday, January 03, 2010

Keep on Knocking

Matthew 7:7-8
(7)  "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
(8)  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

(8) πᾶς γὰρ ὁ αἰτῶν λαμβάνει καὶ ὁ ζητῶν εὑρίσκει καὶ τῷ κρούοντι ἀνοιγήσεται.

This is another case where participles can give us a little more meaning than what we would get from just our English text.  These are present active participles.  There is a sense here of "the one who is in a continual state of asking receives and the one who is in a continual state of seeking finds and to the one who is in a continual state of knocking it will be opened."  The last participle is in the dative, so that is where we get "to the one" instead of just "the one."  I don't think that there is anything particularly significant there.

While this may be interesting, I'm sure it also leads to the inevitable "so what?"  What difference does this make?  I think that this dovetails nicely with Paul's exhortation to pray without ceasing.  Jesus is telling us that a relationship with Him is not just about using Him as some sort of cosmic craigslist.  We don't just put out "wanted" classifieds and hope that He will respond.

As this passage continues we see that the Father wants to give good gifts to His children.  I am vehemently opposed to the Prosperity Gospel and I do not think that is what this passage is about.  Instead, I think that this says that as we continually seek the Lord's face we will get great gifts from Him.  We may not get the worldly success that we crave, but ultimately we will get what will bring us true and lasting joy.

How much knocking are you doing?

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