Select Arcings on Matthew
A "good gift" is one that brings much glory to the Giver. Such are all the gifts that God grants.
Published January 8th, 2017; Updated January 17th, 2017
Share / Groups / About Author
Main point summary
Matthew 7:7–11
Concluding Application
Main point summary
Jesus says that those who ask the Lord for good gifts, will certainly receive them.
Matthew 7:7–11
Matthew 7:7-11
y “Ask,
καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν,
z and it will be given to you;
a seek,
καὶ εὑρήσετε,
and you will find;
b knock,
καὶ ἀνοιγήσεται ὑμῖν•
and it will be opened to you.
πᾶς γὰρ ὁ αἰτῶν λαμβάνει
For everyone who asks receives,
καὶ ὁ ζητῶν εὑρίσκει
and the one who seeks finds,
καὶ τῷ κρούοντι ἀνοιγήσεται.
and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
ἢ τίς ἐστιν ἐξ ὑμῶν ἄνθρωπος, ὃν αἰτήσει ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἄρτον, μὴ λίθον ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ;
Or which one of you, if his son asks him for c bread, will give him c a stone?
ἢ καὶ ἰχθὺν αἰτήσει, μὴ ὄφιν ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ;
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
εἰ οὖν ὑμεῖς πονηροὶ ὄντες οἴδατε δόματα ἀγαθὰ διδόναι τοῖς τέκνοις ὑμῶν,
If you then, d who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς δώσει ἀγαθὰ τοῖς αἰτοῦσιν αὐτόν.
how much more will z your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
The answer to questions in vv. 9–10 are not made explicit, but is implied in v. 11a–b: "the father will certainly not give his son a stone when he asks for bread. Likewise the father will certainly not give his son a serpent when he asks for fish."
(7a–f) Jesus gives three imperatives: "ask," "seek," and "knock" along with corresponding results (Ac-Res), granting the intended result of each command (e.g., those who seek for something intend to find something.) Each action and result grouping is connected by the coordinating conjunction καὶ ("and"). (8a–c) The coordinating conjunction γὰρ (translated here as "for") introduces the ground (G) (i.e., a reason) for asking, seeking, and knocking—namely, that those ask, seek, and knock will certainly get that for which they are asking, seeking, and knocking. The logic is as follows: "Since all who ask, seek, and knock will get their desires, therefore you [imperative] ask, seek, and knock!" Grammatically, whereas the πᾶς ("every") in 8a is explicit, it is implied in 8b and 8c. To be precise, the πᾶς + article + participle construction (e.g., 8a: πᾶς ... ὁ αἰτῶν) places all three constituents in apposition to one another (Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research , 772.) This is also the case for the participles in 8b and 8c. (9–10) The syntax here is tricky. Literally: "Or what person from you, whom his son will ask for a loaf, he will not give to him a stone, will he? Or also if he will ask for a fish, he will not give to him a serpent, will he?" I think the ESV does a great job of drawing out the meaning and impact of these two rhetorical questions. Both answers are implied with an emphatic "no!" This can be seen in the subsequent verse. These verses are supporting (BL) material for all that precedes (7a–8c) and all that follows (11a–b), but one does not feel it's complete impact until the answer to the rhetorical questions are implied in verse 11a–b. (11a–b) Though supported by verses. 9–10, this verse could simultaneously function as an inference (οὖν, "therefore/then"). That is, in light of verses 9–10, what one should know (οἴδατε) is that since "[those] who are evil" (i.e., sinners) know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more (πόσῳ μᾶλλον) should one know that God himself—who is by no means evil, but on the contrary is holy, holy, holy (Isa 6:3)—will give good gifts to those who ask of him. These verses provide hope for the one praying. Because God knows how to give good gifts to his children, his children should not doubt that they will receive good gifts from him (future grace) if they ask for good gifts.
Concluding Application
God commands his children to ask for good gifts because he is a God who knows how to give good gifts and he is a God who will give the good gift when it is asked for. At the heart of such prayer is a humble heart for God himself. But what is the nature of such a gift? Simply put, I think the nature of a "good gift" is one that brings Christ-exalting satisfaction to the one desiring the good gift (Jn 6:51; Rom 3:24; Eph 2:8). This could be an earthly gift (e.g., daily bread, a job, more time to study, etc.) as well as a spiritual gift (e.g., power to overcome lust, a family member saved, strength to endure affliction, etc.) Either way, God's purpose for "good gifts" is that they might cause his children to magnify the grace (Eph 1:6) of the One Giving (James 1:17.) Even sinful men know how to give food to their children (vv. 9–10). How much more (πόσῳ μᾶλλον) does our Holy God know how to give gifts? When we ask God for gifts, our desire should be that we would treasure Christ more through the gift that he has promised to give if we would only ask. That's the goal. God glorified in every received gift.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.