“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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!”
One of the joys of studying Scripture comes when you unlock the meaning of a verse because of the discovery of an obscure cultural clue or word meaning. You feel like Nicholas Cage in the movie National Treasure; he finds a clue, seeks and searches out the meaning, which leads to another clue, and then eventually leads to treasure. Interpreting parables, even short parables, requires some cultural digging. The original audience would fully understand the meaning of the “literal” story, but not necessarily understand the intended correlation. From our vantage point as 21st Century students, we might not understand the literal story because of our lack of cultural background and thus miss the real thrust of the intended meaning. So dig away at this little gem of a parable.
Why did Jesus use “fish” and “snake” in His literal question (parable)?
Why did Jesus use “egg” and “scorpion” in His literal question (parable)?
How does the discovery of what these two cultural clues change the meaning of the verses for you?
Why do you think verse 13 is attached grammatically to the meaning of the parable? How is “the Holy Spirit” = “good gifts”?
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.