I’ve been spending time with Luke’s Gospel for a while now. This morning I read the following and wanted to move on, but a question kept challenging me. How does God give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” –Luke 11:11-13 NIV
For the life of me, I could only think of one plausible answer, an answer that makes the most sense.
First, Jesus defines time. With his coming, we’re talking the in-breaking of the Kingdom, what theologians and biblical scholars the already-not-yet. So whether we’re considering the immediate listeners while Jesus was on earth, if you will, or post-ascension listeners and readers, this mention of the Holy Spirit is eschatological.
Second, this giving of the Holy Spirit to those who ask only make sense if we’re talking Christ followers. But why would Christ followers need to ask for the Holy Spirit who already indwells them (Romans 8:9-17)?
Third, and therefore, to me, the only plausible answer is the asking of the Holy Spirit for kingdom ministry–here and there.