Sometimes I think we oversimplify, particularly when we get to the teachings of Jesus. I know it's in vogue to talk of simple church, simple faith and simple Jesus, but sometimes He comes off in those discussions more like simple simon.

In addition to King of the Universe, He was king of the nuance. He chose His words carefully. In the moment, no one missed the poignancy of His asking Peter "Do you love (agape) me" as Pater protested "You know I love (phileo) you." It might come off a little flat in English, but in the original language, they all knew that He knew exactly what He was asking.

No, Jesus didn't throw words around. He plucked them from the vocabulary tree and put them in order.

In light of this, I've always thought we've glossed over the whole "ask, seek, knock" thing for Matthew 7 as if Jesus were repeating Himself, finding multiple ways to express one thought like some old Pentecostal radio preacher.

Not so much.

I've been reading a little on this passage this morning, and it looks to me like He's encouraging us to take a variety of approaches when going after something.
To ask is to beg, call for, crave or desire.

To seek points to thinking, meditation, using reasoning or ingenuity.

To knock means...well, to knock.
It seems that He's laying out a comprehensive plan of pursuit - one involving our emotions, our intellect, and even our willingness to nudge a door here or there to see what happens. And it's not just the activity of pursuing that differs, it's what happens next.

Things are given to us. We find things. Doors open.

In nearly five years as missionaries, we've had all three of these things happen in response to our asking or seeking or knocking. Rarely, though, have we synchronized our efforts to make sure we're pursuing in all three ways at once.

To be frank, we're going after a few things in our life right now - things we need. I want to make sure we're using all three approaches that Jesus mentioned, because I want to be able to receive, discover, and walk through any door He has for us.

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