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! Matthew 7:11
In this sentence, Jesus acknowledged the inherent sinfulness of the human heart. He plainly called us “evil.” He knew the truth of Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Yet Jesus also knew there is still common grace in the world. There is some goodness in most parents. It is natural to want to care for our children and meet their needs.
Our Lord’s primary point is God’s care for us. If we, fallen humanity, want to care for our children and give them good things, how much greater is God’s desire to care for us? He is the perfect, sinless, eternal, infinite Father—our Abba Father.
But there is a secondary point as well. As followers of Christ, we should realize the urgency of meeting our children’s needs and giving them what is best. They are God’s blessing to us, and they need all the patience, prayers, and Bible verses we can give them.
Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. Chuck Swindol
Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 7:7-11 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies
[Jesus] had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14
My friend Ellen calculates payroll for an accounting firm. This may sound like a straightforward job, but there are times when employers submit their information later than requested. Ellen often makes up for this by working long hours so employees can receive their money without delay. She does this out of consideration for the families that depend on those funds to buy groceries, purchase medicine, and pay for housing.
Ellen’s compassionate approach to her job points me to Jesus. On earth, He sometimes ministered to people when it was inconvenient for Him. For instance, Christ wanted some alone time after He heard that John the Baptist had been killed, so He boarded a boat in search of an isolated place (Matthew 14:13). Perhaps He needed to grieve for His relative and pray through His sorrow.
There was just one problem. Crowds of people tagged along behind Him. This group had various physical needs. It would have been much easier to send the people away, but “when Jesus landed and saw [them], he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (v. 14).
Although it was part of Jesus’ calling to teach people and cure their diseases as He ministered on earth, His empathy affected the way in which He carried out His responsibilities. May God help us to recognize His compassion in our lives and give us the strength to pass it on to others.
Reflect & Pray
How have you experienced God’s compassion and care? What prevents you from showing God’s love when you carry out your daily responsibilities?
Dear Jesus, thank You for meeting my spiritual and physical needs. Help my thankfulness to overflow in the world so that I can glorify You through caring for other people.
One of the blessings of being a Christian is our intimacy with God the Father. But closeness with the Lord can also tempt us to treat Him too lightly by failing to recognize His holiness or treat Him with the adoration He deserves. Joshua’s response to God’s appearance has much to teach about proper reverential fear for the Lord.
- He approached the Lord in order to speak with Him. God is holy, but through Jesus Christ, we can freely and confidently approach Him to receive help and grace.
- He fell on his face in humility, submission, and dependence. This is the same attitude we need to have whenever we come to God in prayer or through His Word.
- He asked what the Lord had to say to Him. As we read Scripture, we too should ask the Lord to speak to us and teach us His ways.
- He worshipped God with immediate obedience. If we read the Word without obeying it, we demonstrate that we do not truly fear the Lord.
What we need in our relationship with God is a balance between familial intimacy and holy fear. Consider whether the way you approach Him might need some adjustment.
“Wherefore, he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
The second verse of the moving old hymn “Arise, My Soul, Arise” speaks of Christ’s intercessory work on our behalf and the basis on which His prayers are accepted.
He ever lives above; For me to intercede,
His all-redeeming love, His precious blood to plead.
His blood atoned for all our race
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.
Christ is our intercessor, pleading with the Father to save us from our sins, for which the penalty has been paid by His “sacrifice…for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:27). It is “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19) that pleads for our forgiveness. He does this for us because He “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5) as we come to God in repentant faith.
Because Jesus was Himself a fully righteous man, He could die on another’s behalf; because He was fully God the Son, His death was sufficient to pay the penalty for the whole human race: “Jesus Christ the righteous; And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2). “Thou art worthy…for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).
Only in this way can we come “to the general assembly and the church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling” (Hebrews 12:23-24). JDM