Finally we come to the last section of the body of Jesus’ sermon. It beins with some encouraging prayer promises:
Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be gopened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! (Matt. 7:7-11).
“Aha!” a reader somewhere might be saying. “Here’s a part of the Sermon on the Mount that has nothing to do with holiness.”
That all depends on what it is we’re asking, knocking and seeking for in prayer. As those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness,” we long to obey all that Jesus has commanded in His sermon, and that longing is certainly reflected in our prayers. In fact, the model prayer that Jesus previously shared in this same sermon was the expression of a desire for God’s will to be done and for holiness. Additionally, Luke’s version of these same prayer promises under consideration ends with, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13). Apparently, Jesus was not necessarily thinking of luxury items when He promised us “good gifts.” In His mind, the Holy Spirit is a “good gift,” because the Holy Spirit makes us holy and helps us spread the gospel that makes other people holy. And holy people go to heaven.