To read the texts click on the texts: Est.4:1, 3-5, 12-14; Mt 7:7-12
The text of today consists of three imperatives: Ask, Seek and Knock. These imperatives are based on three unconditional promises: you will receive, you will find and it will be opened. While the point made here is of perseverance in prayer and not giving up it is not the focal point. The reason for this perseverance is God’s goodness and gratuitousness. Thus, it is not human asking, seeking and knocking that is the focal point, but God, who remains the actor. The reason why humans must ask, seek and knock is in order to acknowledge their dependence on God. Ultimately it is always God who is in control. That this is the point that Matthew makes is clear in the explanation that follows. If human fathers who are weak, frail and selfish themselves would never give their children anything that would be to their detriment, how much more will God give what is good to those who acknowledge their dependence on him by asking?
The last verse of today is what is known as “The Golden Rule’ and serves as the conclusion not just to this section but to the whole Sermon. The addition here of the clause “for this is the law and prophets” results in this verse forming an inclusion with the similar clause in which began the theme of the Sermon. Also by adding the words “In everything” before the rule, Matthew makes it all inclusive. There are numerous parallels to the Golden rule but most of them are stated in the negative form. Here it is positive; “do to others as you have them do to you”. This is initiatory and not retaliatory or reciprocal. It means in other words that the disciple is the one who takes the initiative in doing always the most loving thing to others.