Church of Christ
at
Locks Cross Roads
Matthew 7:6 the thoughts of the first and last members are connected, while those of the two middle members are
harmonious.

Do not persist in offering what is scared or of value to those who least appreciate it, because your gift would be not
only contaminated or despised, but also your generosity would be rebuffed if not openly attacked.

Dogs and swine are perverse men who have abandoned all moral restraints and who, because of that attitude, are
incapable of appreciating the blessings of the holy or its value, or those who, after they have once arrived at an
appreciation of spiritual values, retain their vicious, filthy nature (Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 10:29, 2nd Peter 2:20-22).

Matthew 7:7 why does Jesus bring up prayer at this point in His paragraph on judging?  Although Jesus has
admonished us to judge ourselves, we should not doubt or mistrust our true relation to God.  We analyze our own
souls, yet should not question the fact that, despite all our character failures, God has made us His children and He
is ever ready to bless us with all we need.
2) Matthew 7 - Asking, seeking, knocking
Matthew 7:7 (Luke 11:9-13) Ask.....seek......knock.  These three words, all of which are present imperative indicating
continuing action, suggest an increasingly unrelenting insistence in prayer.  Luke 11:5-8 shows how Jesus definitely
connected this teaching with exhortations to keep praying.  Ask is the simple prayer that indicates the dependence
of the petitioner upon God, and his consciousness of his need (Matthew 5:14-15, Matthew 18:19, Matthew 21:22,
Mark 11:24, John 14:13, John 15:17, John 16:23-24, James 1:5-8, James 5:16-18, 1st John 3:22, 1st John 5:14).

Seek suggests the personal effort of the one who prays to do his part toward getting his own prayers answered
(Isaiah 55:6).  It also suggests concentration, through prayer, of all of one's powers upon the realization of what is
prayed.

Knock deals with the perseverant prayer despite difficulties and hindrances, a vital factor in effective prayer.  God
does not always answer our request upon the first two or three utterances of it, probably to test our seriousness, to
prepare us to receive it, and to work out the combination of circumstances and of persons necessary to its answer
(Luke 11:5-13, Luke 18:1-8, Galatians 6:9).  Illustrations of "knocking" are Abraham (Genesis 19:22-23), Jacob
(Genesis 32:26), Elijah (James 5:16-18), Jesus (Luke 22:44), the Syrophoenician woman (Matthew 15:21-28) and
the early Church (Acts 12:5).
Matthew 7:8 for every one that asketh receiveth.  At first glance, this phrase seems to open the promised answers
to prayer to anyone who would call upon God.  But Jesus is not committing God to honor the blasphemies of those
who ignore His commands and refuse His Lordship, Jesus has already qualified the kind of prayer that is acceptable
(Matthew 6:5-15, James 1:6-7, James 4:3, 1st John 5:14-15).  Thus, this "whosoever will" refers to those who are
willing to commit themselves to seeking first God's kingdom and the kind of righteousness that Jesus is preaching
(Matthew 6:10 and 33).

He would have us toil in prayer to get what we desire.  Blessings that would come too easy or cost us nothing would
ruin our appetite, dull our sensitivity and would give us what we wanted before we had been driven to our highest
longing and most noble efforts to attain them.

Matthew 7:9-11 Jesus asks a series of rhetorical questions to arouse individual interest, stimulate curiosity and draw
attention to the conclusion which follows, and also to draw out of His hearers a moral decision.
Each of Jesus' questions in Greek begins and me, the negative which expects a negative answer:  "No, he would
not."  A human father would not mock his children's request by giving what is useless, unclean or harmful.  Natural
parental affection requires that a father give what is needed.  This is a human judgment that is deeply felt and
rightly arrived at.  Upon it Jesus will base His argument.

How much more?  This is an argument from the lesser to the greater and a call for a moral judgment.  He will give
good things to them that ask him.  Jesus does not promise that He will always or necessarily grant the thing we ask,
but what He judges to be good for us.

Too often we are blinded by the seeming desirability of earth's treasures.  How shocked we would be to learn how
often we have asked God for stones, serpents and scorpions, being deceived into thinking they would contribute to
our happiness!
Too easily we forgive our children when they do wrong; too often we do not enforce our word and fail to punish
where they definitely did need it.  To suppose that our heavenly Father would do nothing contrary when we sin is
very wrong.  He has definitely declared that He will disinherit those who were once His children, who, as time went
by, gradually drifted.  The concept of eternal punishment for unforgiven sins, in whomever they may be found, is
God's idea, and man is a fool to argue with Him about it.
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