5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[e] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. ~Luke 11:5-10
“Shameless audacity,” indeed.
Can you imagine someone actually doing that in the middle of the night?
What boldness it would take to pound even the closest friend’s door in the middle of the night, and continue doing so until gave me what I wanted! It would have to be a life or death emergency for me with my personality to bring myself to do that, and even then I bet I’d still feel uncomfortable.
But this was for bread… three loaves to be exact, because Jesus was.
Unless, of course, the friend’s visitor was at the point of death and three loaves of bread were the miracle cure, it is really hard to imagine this constituting a dire emergency, though I know that I cannot fully know the culture of the day, and it could be that bread for visitors, no matter the hour was a matter of extreme importance.
None the less, I think Jesus’s words “shameless audacity” give us a hint that this behavior would have been considered as unthinkable then as it would be today.
The cool thing is that in transitioning to well-known verse about asking, seeking, and knocking, Jesus says, “So I say to you…”
The word “so” alerts us to a connection between what has just been said and what is to follow, similar to saying “in the same way.”
And now I see that He’s saying that I should come shamelessly, at ANY time, with audacious boldness, specific requests, and not stop asking until He answers.
Then I read that the verbs used in Greek for ask, seek, and knock, are in the present progressive form, meaning they represent an ongoing action.
Some translate it, “ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, knock and keep knocking.”
There’s NO SHAME in coming to our Father boldly (audaciously even), at any time, with specific needs, no matter how trivial the request, and continuing to do so until He opens the door.
Unlike another human, who would be annoyed and only answer the door to quiet me, I believe Jesus is telling us that He longs for us to come to Him in this way.
This past weekend I had a bit more time alone than usual and I was asking God for guidance on a specific matter. He did not give me a direct answer, but did speak.
The message I got was essentially “Spend more time with me.”
And I am okay with that, because I was reminded that this life is a union with Him.
What He wants above all is to be WITH ME and me WITH HIM. If He showed me right away everything He willed for me to do, I’d say, “Thanks!” And run off and try to do it all on my own.
But He wants me more than He wants my works, and by walking in union with Him, I accomplish all that He desires for me, both in being and in doing. Only then do I grow in knowledge of Him (not just knowledge about Him but coming to know Him personally) and only in that I can I truly have anything to give.
I think this continual coming, this asking and keeping on asking, seeking and keeping on seeking, knocking and keeping on knocking, helps to keep us dependent on Him.
And this invitation bug Him is the sweetest and most wonderful thing a needy child of His like me could hear at this moment! I have a lot of knocking to do!