7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7–8, NKJV).
Jesus does more than suggest we pray to the Father for His blessings. The verbs ask, seek, and knock are in the imperative mood, expressing commands. Each action increases in intensity and fervor. Lenski commented, “We ask for what we need; we seek what we earnestly desire; we knock when our desire becomes importunity” (Matthew, 292-293). Furthermore, Christ promises the Father will respond favorably to His children’s pleadings (“will be given,” “will find,” and “it will be opened to you”). Arguing from the lesser to the greater, Jesus went on to assure us that if earthly fathers provide “good gifts” to their children when asked, our heavenly Father will “gives good things” to His children when we entreat Him (Matt. 7:9-11). As children depend on their parents for life’s necessities, Christians rely on our Father in heaven to give us what we truly need. Our trust is not misplaced. Our Father hears and responds to our fervent pleadings. So ask, seek, and knock. Live by faith, and “all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:32-33).
1 And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. 2 Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching: 3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.” (Mark 4:1–3, NKJV)
People crowded around Jesus to hear Him teach. Indeed, teaching was an integral part of His work (Lk. 4:18-19; Matt. 4:23). Truly, He was the Master Teacher (Lk. 6:40). But people must listen to the teacher if learning is to occur. As Jesus taught the crowds onshore from a boat, He said, “Listen!” This word is in the imperative mood, conveying “a command for someone to perform the action of the verb” (Ancient Greek for Everyone). Jesus commanded them to listen! They needed to pay attention and not miss what He was teaching them. Even so, He commands us to listen to Him. We must do more than casually listen to the teachings of Jesus. We must be cautious not to inject into His teachings what we prefer to hear Him say. Unless we pay close attention to His words, we will not understand them (Jno. 8:43). The wise person hears the words of Jesus and does them (Matt. 7:24-25). Jesus teaches us the truth that frees us from sin, so obey His command to “listen” to Him (Jno. 8:31-32).