Sermon on the Mount 16

Just Ask 7:7-11

First, we must establish that ask-seek-knock are ancient common images of prayer and worship in Hebrew culture. In this context it should be painfully obvious we aren’t talking about mere hedonistic comforts. The whole point here is that Jehovah is not inaccessible. Jesus revitalizes the ancient feudalistic imagery of coming before your own tribal chief. What would be the standard protocol of coming before your feudal master, who happens also to be family?

In the first place, it would be an insult to Him to go to anyone else for things He has promised under the covenant of adoption as family. You don’t live and work in one man’s domain and seek your basic needs from another. The Pharisees and Scribes had sought to make the Heavenly Father seem remote and disinterested in the common Jewish peasants. Their argument would have been that it was obvious they weren’t favored by God; they were poor peasants. But since the Pharisees and Scribes were wealthy, it was obvious God favored them. Did they not have all the blessings of shalom?

No, they did not. Jesus had just finished castigating them as morally unfit (pigs and dogs), so whatever they had, it wasn’t shalom. To these abused peasants, Jesus asserts that they should restore the ancient covenant lordship of Jehovah. He wasn’t a Persian lord, remote from a conquered empire (a fashion all the rage at that time). He was the Covenant Lord who had adopted them as His children.

Therefore, they should freely come before the Lord and ask, seek and knock. God will hear; He will be found; He will answer. Then Jesus provides a rather obvious metaphor: Does any dad in the crowd know how to respond when a dependent child asks for something essential for life? He does not substitute torment or punishment for a reasonable request, but gives as much as the child can use. If we who are fallible can figure this out, doing what God commands you in the first place, surely the God who commands such mercy and compassion will practice it Himself.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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