“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone. Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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 good gifts to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:9-11)
How much more indeed! Often we are willing to settle for simple material gifts when the Father wants to give us so much more. The cursory handling of the verses from the Sermon on the Mount leads to the idea that our material needs—food, clothing, shelter—are to be the core of our prayers as we see the human father gives sustenance rather than danger and damage. The Saints are further led astray by reading into this passage a ‘blank check’ from Heaven in the implicit promise of good gifts. The best gift, Murray points out, is nothing material. It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and His control over our life and living in this world. This is the gift we should earnestly be seeking, trusting in God to take care of all of the things He already knows we need.
Jesus teaches in our lesson today to lift our eyes and hearts above our immediate circumstances to see how much more life the Father has for us when we open our connection to the Vine. The Spirit is our connection and the gift we receive upon belief that enables the life-giving nectar of the Vine to flow into our empty souls.