In this passage, Jesus uses vivid imagery and a rhetorical question to teach His disciples and the crowd about the goodness and generosity of God, their heavenly Father. His words convey a powerful message about the nature of God's provision and care for His children.
Jesus begins by asking a rhetorical question, "Or who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?" This question draws attention to the natural inclination of parents to provide for the needs of their children. He highlights the absurdity of a parent giving their hungry child something inedible instead of nourishing bread. This scenario emphasizes the inherent goodness and compassion within human relationships, reflecting the care and provision that parents typically have for their children.
Jesus further extends this illustration, asking if a child were to ask for a fish, would a loving parent give them a serpent? Again, the answer is obvious—no parent would intentionally harm their child by giving them something dangerous instead of what they genuinely need. This comparison underscores the notion that earthly parents, despite their flaws, possess a natural inclination to provide for their children's well-being and protect them from harm.
Building upon this observation, Jesus makes a powerful contrast: "If you then, being 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!" Here, Jesus acknowledges the imperfections and fallen nature of humanity by referring to them as "evil." Despite this, He highlights the profound truth that if even flawed human beings have the capacity to give good gifts to their children, how much more will our heavenly Father, who is perfect in every way, provide good things to those who ask Him?
Jesus invites His audience, and by extension, us, to recognize the surpassing goodness and generosity of God. He emphasizes that if earthly parents, with all their limitations and shortcomings, are capable of giving good gifts to their children, then we can trust that our heavenly Father, who is infinitely loving, wise, and all-knowing, will abundantly provide for our needs.
The passage highlights the relational aspect of God's provision and care. By referring to God as our Father, Jesus establishes a familial connection and underscores the intimate relationship between God and His children. It reminds us that God's provision is not solely based on our merit but is an expression of His love and grace towards us as His beloved children.
In summary, Matthew 7:9-11 serves as a reassurance of God's goodness and faithfulness. Jesus reminds us that God, our heavenly Father, surpasses any earthly parent in His ability to provide for our needs. We can trust in His generosity and love, knowing that He will abundantly give good things to those who ask Him. As we approach our heavenly Father with our requests, let us do so with confidence, understanding that His desire is to bless us and meet our needs according to His perfect wisdom and unfailing love.
Matthew 7:9-11. Who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent? If you then, being 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!