I was reading the scriptures today, and read in Matthew 7:7-8:
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
This is hardly uncommon. In fact, Jesus said this pretty much every time He turned around. Which led me to wonder – why the redundancy? It just seems like a whole lot of words that say the same thing. So I thought about the words a little more. What exactly is the difference between asking, seeking, and knocking?
Now, I’m no theologian. And I can’t tell you what the Lord meant when He said it. But I can tell you what it means to me now. And being me (and not a theologian), I didn’t think about the original language of the text – I thought of sign language. As I tried to understand the scripture better, I tried putting it into sign. And what I found was that those three verbs are entirely different.
In sign language, the main difference between these verbs is the movement. When I ask God something, the movement is from me to God. When I seek, it’s for an object – I do the moving. When I knock, a door opens. And when I thought about the responses, I realized that the responses match the actions perfectly.When I ask from God, I receive from God. When I’m seeking an object, I find the object. And when I knock, the door opens – and I have to move through it, or it doesn’t have any purpose. In essence, Christ is asking me not just to expect an answer, but to ask God’s help in finding the answer, then to look for the answer myself. And when I’ve asked, sought, found, and received an answer, it’s then my responsibility to act on it – to knock, and then walk through that door. Whatever my answer is, it should bring me through an open door, closer to God. ◊