Matthew 7:9

ESV Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
NIV Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
NASB Or what person is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone?
CSB Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
NLT You parents — if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?
KJV Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

What does Matthew 7:9 mean?

Jesus has made an amazing and expansive promise to His followers: Every one of them who asks will receive. Everyone who seeks will find. Everyone who knocks will experience the door being opened (Matthew 7:7–8). He now makes clear that He is saying these things within the context of children of God making requests of Him. This is not a blind, mindless guarantee that God will give anyone anything they ask for in prayer. The context of asking, seeking, and knocking is the very person of Christ, Himself (John 14:6).

Christ asks His audience (Matthew 5:1–2) which of them would give their son a stone when asked for bread. This shows exactly what kind of relationship Jesus is describing. When we ask something of God, we are not submitting a request to a corporation or a government or a religious system. We are asking our Father for something. That's why God stands ready to hear and answer our requests.

Jesus' negative examples in this and the following verse demonstrate the character of God. If a human parent would not give their son a stone when asked for bread, the only perfect Father would certainly never give a worthless thing when asked for something that was truly good. Jesus' example may even suggest something worse. Scholars point out that small loaves of bread in Jesus' day often looked like large stones. That creates a picture of a human father intentionally tricking his son with false food. Almost no human dad would do that, and neither would the Father give false things or lie to His children.
What is the Gospel?
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