The Gift of the Spirit
Matthew 7 was a difficult chapter for me to get into by myself this week, but the Bible study was very helpful. Our group’s discussion began with Matthew 7:11, which says, “If you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in the heavens give good things to those who ask Him!” Someone mentioned that the parallel verse in Luke says almost the exact same thing, but it replaces the phrase “good things” with “the Holy Spirit”. This indicates that what is good in the Father’s eyes is the Spirit, and what we need is in the Spirit. This reminded me of a parent giving their children vegetables to eat instead of candy. “Good things” may not necessarily be what we view to be good for ourselves. After all, as we see later in the chapter, “narrow is the gate and constricted is the way that leads to life” (7:14). We all want to be led to know the eternal life, but many of the things that we want only bring us out of this constricted way. But, this chapter tells us that when we ask for the “good things,” when we ask for the Holy Spirit to be our wisdom in caring for others, our bountiful supply in times of need, and many more aspects of the Spirit that are revealed in the Bible— we shall receive! The Father will joyfully give what is good to us. This is also an encouragement and a strengthening to our faith, for we know that if we ask for the Spirit, it will be given to us.