What does Matthew 7:7 mean?
ESV: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
NIV: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
NASB: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
CSB: "Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.
NLT: Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
KJV: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
NKJV: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Verse Commentary:
Matthew's telling of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1–2) continues as Jesus turns the topic back to prayer. Instead of providing a model prayer this time, Jesus describes the attitude through which the children of God should bring their requests to Him. This statement also speaks to God's willingness to answer those who sincerely seek Him (Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1; Matthew 7:8).

Scholars believe the wording here might suggest a rising intensity. This might be a poetic arrangement, where "ask" means a single request, "seek" refers to something more persistent, and "knock" implies deep persistence. That would imply something to the effect of "ask, ask again, and keep asking." The Greek verbs here are in a form that implies constant action: Jesus is saying we ought to "continue to ask…seek…knock."

The heart of Jesus' point is that God is listening, paying attention to His people, and ready to give them good gifts. What a remarkable truth! The God of all creation cares so deeply about His children that He hears them when they pray. Even better: He answers. This also speaks to those with doubts and questions about faith. Those who lack faith, but pursue truth, will find it in Christ (Mark 9:24; John 14:6).

Since God is listening and loving, Jesus tells His listeners to ask, to seek, and to knock. When you ask, it will be given. When you seek, you will find. When you knock, the proper door will be opened. Jesus commands His followers to bring their requests, to look for answers, and ask to be let into God's presence. Instead of putting limits and conditions on these promises, Jesus is even more expansive in the following verse.

Jesus will continue, however, to clarify that these promises are not a means of manipulating God. Prayer is never presented in Scripture as a means to merely get our way, as if He were merely magic or a system for success. Instead, these verses are an invitation to interact with a generous Father who loves to hear the prayers of His people.
Verse Context:
Matthew 7:7–14 describes God as a generous Father eager to give good gifts to His praying children. Jesus commands His followers to continually ask and seek, with confidence that they will receive and find. Christ summarizes the intent of God's commands in the Old Testament: doing for others what we want done for us. This is commonly referred to as "the Golden Rule." The way of Jesus begins by entering a narrow gate and continues down a hard path that leads to life. He commands His followers to take that path instead of the easy road that leads to destruction.
Chapter Summary:
Matthew 7 is the last of three chapters that record what is now known as the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus commands His hearers not to pronounce shallow or hypocritical judgment. He describes God as a generous Father eager to give good things to His children when they ask. He commands His followers to enter the narrow gate and walk the hard road to life. False prophets can be recognized by their fruit, meaning their actions and choices. At the same time, good deeds are not absolute proof that someone has true faith. To live by Jesus' teaching is like building the house of your life on a solid foundation instead of shifting sand.
Chapter Context:
Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount in chapter 5, discussing the Beatitudes and the idea that inner thoughts are very much part of sin and righteousness. Chapter 6 denounced hypocrisy, modeled prayer, and opposed anxiety. Chapter 7 discusses the proper manner of judgment, including how to gauge the teachings of others. Jesus also warns against spiritual self-deception. He concludes with an analogy about foundations and storms. The crowd's amazement at Christ's teachings leads into the miracles and encounters of chapters 8 and 9.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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