Verse: Matthew 7:9-12
““Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
God is such an amazingly good Father. So good, that He invites us to ask Him to show us the depths of love and care that He has for each of us. In the previous verses of this chapter of the book of Matthew, Jesus taught and encouraged everyone to ask our heavenly Father for what is needed. He said that God will help us find what we seek and open the door that we knock upon.
In verses 9 and 10, Jesus shows us that, as our Father, God cares about us so much and wants to give us good things. He doesn’t have bad intentions. He has good plans for us and wants us to succeed in the life that He has given to us.
The illustration of bread in verse 9 is a reminder of what Jesus taught us to say when we talk to God in what is often referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer”. In the previous chapter of Matthew, Jesus instructed us to come to “Our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9) and ask, “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). When we talk to God and listen to Him, our “bread” that we need may truly be food for the day. It also may be the wisdom and words from God that will sustain us in our challenges. Just as Jesus quoted the Old Testament scripture when he was being tempted in the desert: “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
God’s goodness as a Father even outshines the very best human fathers in our world, as verse 11 shows. As humans, even the best of our fathers are imperfect. In contrast, our Heavenly father is perfect. His good gifts, His love and care, and the wisdom that He gives is so much better than even the best that anyone in this world has to offer.
It is such an encouragement to know that our heavenly Father, God, the creator of our world, is cheering for us to do well, just like a loving parent on the sidelines of a sporting event. It is such an encouragement to know that we have a Father who wants to see us succeed, who we can rely on to provide for us and to help us in both the good and the tough times.
Given that perspective, it makes sense when we come to verse 12, where Jesus instructs us: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” With such abundant love that God, our heavenly Father has for us, we are to share that love with others and treat them as we would want to be treated.
Our call, instruction, and life work that we have been given from Jesus is to be children who are just like our heavenly Father. Since we are made in His image (Genesis 1:27) and receive all His good blessings when we ask, we are to demonstrate how good He is through our own actions. That certainly is not always easy to do with other people. But, remember – all that we have to do is to ask Him to provide us with the love, peace, and strength when we need it. Jesus told us in these verses that our heavenly Father will provide.