Ask and you will receive. Wow, did Jesus really say this? Yes, Jesus did!
I wonder how many people have taken this verse and asked for things like money, houses, girlfriends or boyfriends, a new job, or any of many other things that they think are important to their being happy? And I wonder how many of them considered God a liar when they did not get what they asked for?
There are some who hold to a modern day heresy of a “name it, claim it” pseudo-theology who use this verse as a proof text. Perhaps many of the TV preacher who promote this shallow, deceptive and false way of thinking get what they want by duping their listeners into sending them money. I really do feel sorry for such deceived and empty souls. Note that this verse says God will give. It does say when God will give them to us.
What if God gives us what we ask for as we stand before the divine presence giving an account for our lives. The word “given” in the language the Bible was written in means it will be obtained at a later time. What if one was given the money only to realize just how petty, how foolish, how condemning such a request was for all of eternity?
Ask and you will receive. These words scare me. What in the world would I dare ask of God except that I do not have to account for all the things I have done that deserve the most severe punishment imagined?
Yet, I find these words spoken by Jesus in a time when he is instructing his disciples on how to live a life pleasing to God. He speaks to them about things that please God, about behaviors God accepts and rejects. These are words spoke to disciples. Disciples are individuals who are learning how to fulfill God’s greatest desire to share love with them and to have them share this love with their neighbors.
If I love someone and they are willing to fulfill my deepest desire, would I not want most of all for that desire to be centered on them? I think this would be the best request.
It is Lent, a time of preparation, a time of remembering the price Jesus paid, a time to exam our lives in the light of God’s holiness and love. So, what do I ask for?