THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional – Part 28
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
It would seem, at this point, that Jesus is abruptly changing the subject to persistent, confident supplication, and in the broadest sense. Is there a continuity, a connection between what came before to what is being presented?
He has been teaching by various examples on how we must clear all the ‘interference’, that is, the sin, from our spirit, our soul, our mind and our body, so we can focus our hearts and our minds on Him and the spiritual.
Jesus started with the basics of becoming ‘perfected’, teaching us to have a clear mental slate, so He can write His words upon our hearts and minds. This must happen before we can expect to receive from Him and to begin the transformation from needing ‘the milk of the word, to eating solid food’, from being the rebellious child to the mature disciple of Christ.
We have been told to lay up treasures in heaven, for where our treasure is, there our heart will be also, and it is from the heart that spring the issues of life. In other words, change our focus and our mindset from earthly and temporal to those things above, to the Kingdom of Heaven and of eternal things.
Next, Jesus has told us to guard what we set our sights on and to guard what comes into the focus of our eyes, as they are the ‘lamp to our bodies’.
Jesus has taught us about being single-minded. He is saying to clear away the clutter of double-mindedness. The Apostle James warns that the double minded person is unstable in all his or her ways and should not expect they will receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:5-8).
Jesus taught us that we are to focus on things of an eternal nature instead of the temporal; “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness” and do not be distracted with worries about necessities of the world because God will provide.
Jesus has warned – yes, warned us – once again about our focus. This time He is admonishing the believer not to be the judge or a judge, for only God is able to judge.
Finally, He has taught us about spiritual discernment and the dangers of unrepentant, unrighteous people.
It would seem, at this point, that He is abruptly changing the subject to persistent, confident supplication and in the broadest sense. There is a continuity, a connection in what came before to what is now being presented.
Assuming you have accomplished ‘the basics’, Jesus is now telling you to “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” This statement can be as perplexing as it is profound. Once your mind is set on the things of God, on the things above, your priorities are right and “everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Assuming you have followed Jesus closely; watching, listening, learning, looking over His shoulder as He “went throughout, teaching in churches and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people, as they brought Him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and watched as He healed them”. (Matthew 4:23-25)
He has told you to make Him and His Kingdom work a priority over your family, your job and everything you hold as important and to “Follow Him, and He will make you fishers of men”. Now that time has come.
Jesus encourages you to ASK, as He reminds us, ” which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?”
Perhaps your denomination teaches that these kinds of things have ceased. Perhaps you believe that Jesus did these things, but you cannot. Or, perhaps you believe the kinds of works are possible, but you have not seen them in your life, yet.
Recount the steps you have taken with Jesus. Have you completed the ‘basics’ He has taught in preparation for this work, or did you just ‘say a little prayer to accept Jesus’ and go on about your way?
It is time to step out on faith. A faith that is built on the saving and sanctifying work that comes from following Jesus and by “the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
Your Brother and Friend,
PS: This is not hyperbole, nor is it bending the Word of God to fit a topic. This is the Gospel Truth. Hear it, meditate on it, do it, and nothing will ever be the same again!