Matthew 7:7-14

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

JESUS’ CONTINUED TEACHING

INTRODUCTION:

 

The Christian can find comfort in knowing that God desires to meet all his needs through prayer.

 

However, God only promises to answer the prayers of saved people who are living as they should.

 

Proverbs 15:29 The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

 

Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

 

Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

 

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

 

I John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

We see –

    I.     JESUS’ TEACHING ON ASKING, SEEKING, AND KNOCKING – 7:7-11

 

In verses 7-11 Jesus urges His listeners to continue asking God to meet their needs and assures them that their heavenly Father will give good things to them in answer to their prayers.

 

Matthew 7:7-11 – (7) Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (8) For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (9) Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? (10) Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? (11) If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

 

In verse 7 Jesus encourages His listeners to keep asking, seeking, and knocking in order to have their needs met.

 

Ask implies be asking (or be praying), continue asking (or continue praying), or keep on asking (or keep on praying). The implication is that the one doing the asking or praying should not stop after making only one request, that God wants him to ask repeatedly.

 

As a result of repeated asking or praying, Jesus said, And it shall be given you, i.e. and it (i.e. whatever you ask or pray for) will be given to you. The mood of shall be given indicates that it will definitely happen.

 

Seek suggests be (i.e. continue or keep on) seeking (or looking for) in order to find it.

 

And ye shall find means and you will discover (or come upon) it (i.e. whatever it is that you are seeking or looking for). Its mood likewise indicates that it will definitely happen.

 

Knock implies be knocking, continue knocking, or keep on knocking and suggests be knocking on a door.

 

And it shall be opened unto you suggests and it (i.e. the door on which you are knocking) will be opened to you. Furthermore, the mood of shall be opened indicates that it will definitely happen.

 

Matthew 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

 

In verse 8 Jesus explains why someone should continue asking, seeking, and knocking.

 

For every one that asketh suggests for each one who asks.

 

Receiveth suggests that each person who asks gets or obtains what he asks for.

 

And he that seeketh is and the one who is seeking.

 

Findeth suggests discovers (or comes upon) what he is seeking for.

 

And to him that knocketh is and to the one who is knocking (on the door).

 

It shall be opened is it (i.e. the door) will be opened. Moreover, the mood of receiveth, findeth, and shall be opened indicates that all three of them will definitely happen.

 

Matthew 7:9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

 

In verses 9-10 Jesus indicates that a father will naturally give his son what his son needs.

 

Or introduces a question.

 

What man is there of you? is what man is among you? or who is a man among you?

 

Whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone is a conditional statement. The condition is if his son ask bread and the conclusion is will he give him a stone.

 

If his son ask bread is if his son asks bread.

 

Whom . . . will he give him a stone is who will give (or hand over) a stone to him. The structure of the question indicates that a negative answer is expected. It is understood in the sense of he will not give (or hand over) a stone to him, will he? and implies, No, he will not give him a stone.

 

Matthew 7:10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

 

In verse 10 Jesus continues to indicate that a father will naturally give his son what his son needs.

 

And if he ask a fish is the condition in a conditional statement. It means if he (i.e. a man’s son) asks for (or requests) a fish.

 

The conclusion of the conditional statement is will he (i.e. the father) give him a serpent (i.e. will he give his son a snake)?

 

Once again the structure of the question in the Greek text indicates that it expects a negative answer in the sense of he will not give him (or hand over to him) a snake, will he? and implies, No, he will not give him a snake.

 

Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

 

Although all fathers have old sin natures, they still know how to give good gifts to their children. By contrast, God the Father, Who is not evil, is far more able to give good things to those who ask Him.

 

Verse 11 is a conditional statement. The condition is if ye . . . know how to give good gifts unto your children; and its structure indicates that, for sake of discussion, it is assumed to be true.

 

If is, therefore, understood in the sense of assuming that.

 

The conclusion of the conditional statement is how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good gifts to them that ask him?

 

Then introduces an inference drawn from verses 9-10 in the sense of therefore, consequently, or accordingly.

 

Ye is you (plural) and is emphatic.

 

Being evil is understood in the sense of although you are evil.

 

Evil suggests wicked or degenerate and has been placed in a position of emphasis in the Greek text which reads literally, wicked being or although wicked you are.

 

If . . . ye know how implies if you understand how, if you can, or if you are able.

 

To give good gifts unto your children is what men understand how to do.

 

Gifts has been placed in a position of emphasis in the Greek text, which reads literally, good gifts to give to your children.

 

How much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him suggests that God the Father Who dwells in heaven is better able to give good things to those persons who are asking Him than fathers are to give good gifts to their sons.

 

God will not make harmful substitutions for our requests, but He may grant something better than what we have requested. This may seem strange; but in God’s sight, God’s not removing Paul’s thorn in the flesh was better for Paul than removing it would have been. I can believe that at first it didn’t seem better to Paul.

 

II Corinthians 12:7-11 – (7) And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (8) For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. (9) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (10) Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (11) I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.

 

Philippians 4:6-7 – (6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

Do you have something you would like God to heal? Some of you do. Have you asked God to heal you? I would believe you have asked Him repeatedly. Has He healed you? Well, not yet. Can He heal you? Oh, yes, of course He can. Then why hasn’t He? Might it be because He knows that it is better for you not to heal you at this time than to heal you? Of course. This was the case with Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Does it seem like God’s not healing you is better for you than God’s healing you? Not likely. However, it would be best for you to accept this and get on with living for the Lord.

Next, we see –

  II.     JESUS’ TEACHING ON THE GOLDEN RULE – 7:12

 

In verse 12 Jesus teaches what has become known as the golden rule, that a person should treat others the way he would like to be treated by them. This behavior toward others summarizes what is taught in the Old Testament Scriptures.

 

Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

 

In verse 12 Jesus instructs those listening to (or reading) His teaching in the Sermon on the Mount how they should treat others. Once again, this behavior will never be able to be practiced consistently by the unsaved crowd. It will only be practiced consistently by those who have been genuinely born again and have the Holy Spirit working in their lives to produce the sort of righteousness demanded by the law.

 

Therefore introduces an inference drawn from the fact that God knows how to give good things to those who ask Him and that believers should seek to do as God does.

 

All things functions as the direct object of do, and it has been placed in a position of emphasis in the Greek text. This emphasis has been retained in the King James translation.

 

Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you describes all things. It suggests whatever you would wish (or want) men to do to you.

 

Men is the generic term for human beings and includes females as well as males.

 

Should do to you suggests might do to you.

 

Do ye is you be doing where you is plural and is emphatic.

 

Even so is so also.

 

To them refers to men.

 

For introduces the reason Jesus’ listeners should treat others as they desire to be treated.

 

This, which refers to treating others as they wish to be treated, is the law and the prophets suggests this is what the Old Testament Scriptures are teaching. It summarizes what the Old Testament Scriptures teach.

Finally, we see –

 III.     JESUS’ TEACHING ON LIFE’S TWO WAYS – 7:13-14

 

In 7:13-14 Jesus instructs His listeners that there are two ways: His teaching, which will lead to heaven through a narrow gate and the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees, which will lead to destruction in hell through a wide gate. Many will follow the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees which leads to destruction, but few will follow Jesus’ teaching which leads to life.

 

Matthew 7:13-14 – (13) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

In verse 13 Jesus instructs His listeners to use the narrow gate rather than the wide gate and the broad road.

 

Enter ye in is a command whose tense indicates that its action is to be undertaken at once and without delay. It means simply go in.

 

At the strait gate is through the narrow gate (or door). The narrow gate is in contrast to the wide gate in the next phrase.

 

For is the word ordinarily translated because and is to be understood in this sense in this verse.

 

Wide (or broad) suggests that its extent from side to side is great. Wide has been placed in a position of emphasis in the Greek text, and this emphasis has been retained in the King James translation.

 

The gate is the same word translated gate in the previous phrase. There are two gates: a narrow one and a wide one.

 

And introduces another phrase: broad is the way.

 

Broad pertains to having ample room in the sense of spacious or roomy. Broad has also been placed in a position of emphasis in the Greek text, and this emphasis has been retained in the King James translation.

 

The way is a word, which, when used literally, means the road or the highway. In this verse it is used in a figurative sense of someone’s behavior in the sense of a course of behavior or a way of life. A broad way suggests that there are few, if any, restrictions in this way of life.

 

That leadeth to destruction describes the way that is broad.

 

That leadeth is the one which leads (or runs).

 

This road will take one to destruction.

 

Destruction speaks of complete (or utter) destruction (or ruin) in the lake of fire. Destruction is related to the term translated should not perish in John 3:16 .

 

And introduces an additional fact: many there be which go in thereat, i.e. many are the ones who are entering through it (i.e. through the broad gate). What they are entering is destruction in the lake of fire.

 

Many is used in contrast to few which Jesus uses in the next verse to describe those who enter through the narrow gate which leads to eternal life.

 

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

Verse 14 supplies the reason people should enter . . . in at the strait gate in verse 13 as introduced by because.

 

Strait is the gate uses the same terminology Jesus used in verse 13. It means narrow is the gate (or door).

 

And narrow is the way is in contrast to and broad is the way in verse 13.

 

Narrow suggests constricted, pressed together, compressed, or made narrow. It has intentionally been made narrow by God.

 

The way is the same term used in the previous verse. When used literally, it is understood as the road or the highway. In this verse it is used in a figurative sense of someone’s course of behavior or way of life. A narrow way suggests that there are many restrictions in this way of life.

 

Which leadeth unto life indicates how this way differs from the previous one which leads to destruction.

 

The term used for life is the term used for eternal life.

 

And few there be that find it is few are the ones who are finding it (i.e. who are finding life). It contrasts with and many there be which go in thereat in verse 13.

CONCLUSION:

 

In summary, we see that –

      1.   There are two gates – the narrow gate and the broad gate.

 

The narrow gate represents conversion.

 

The broad gate represents the rejection of conversion.

 

Have you entered the narrow gate of conversion, or are you rejecting conversion?

 

      2.   There are two ways – the narrow way and the hard way.

 

The narrow way is the hard way.

 

The narrow way will experience the battle between two natures, the old sin nature and the new sinless nature.

 

The narrow way will experience difficulties with worldliness.

 

The narrow way will be characterized by separation from sinful things.

 

The narrow way will endure testing.

 

The narrow way will suffer persecution.

 

The narrow way will be characterized by:

 

Bible study

Obedience

Prayer

Confession of sin

Church attendance

Witnessing

 

The broad way is the easy way.

 

The broad way will not experience the battle between two natures because it has only one nature, the old sin nature.

 

The broad way will not experience difficulties with worldliness because it is worldly.

 

The broad way will not be characterized by separation from sinful things because it has no interest in living for the Lord. It is only interested in living for self.

 

The broad way will not endure testing. There is no need to refine this character.

 

The broad way will not suffer persecution. It is the world which persecutes, and the person on this road is part of the world.

 

The broad way will not be characterized by any of the following because it has no interest in them:

 

Bible study

Obedience

Prayer

Confession of sin

Church attendance

Witnessing

 

    3.     There are two kinds of travelers – the few and the many.

 

The few are those who have chosen the narrow gate.

 

The many are those who have chosen the wide gate.

 

    4.     There are two destinations – heaven and hell.

 

There is life, i.e. eternal life in heaven.

 

There is perdition, i.e. judgment or destruction in eternal hell.

 

Where are you headed, to heaven or to hell?

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