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If a Son Asks for Bread Matthew 7

Posted by hystar on October 4, 2010

KJV Matthew 7:9-12
9. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10. Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? 12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

On the surface this seems to be a simple parable in which Jesus is comparing the giving nature of a human father to God. The trained eye will instantly catch four key words, bread, stone, fish, and serpent. Each of these key words must be compared with additional texts to learn the spiritual meaning.

To place the spiritual meaning within the proper context, the entire parable must be examined. In this parable Jesus is comparing the gifts an earthly father gives his son to the gifts God is ready to provide. The strange detail which stands out in this parable is of course the gifts the son asks for. In today’s society we would expect to see a son asking for ice cream, candy, or more expensive electronic gifts. Things may have been quite different in Jesus’ day, but it is unusual for a son to ask for bread or a fish. These gifts fall into the category of essentials. There is a lesson in these details and they indicate the contexts of the study which must remain in tact.




Amos 8:11 KJV Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Matthew 4:4 KJV But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Deuteronomy 8:3 KJV And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Bread symbolizes the word of God.


Stone Idol

Stone Idol

Deuteronomy 28:64 KJV And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.

Deuteronomy 29:17 KJV And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)

Isaiah 37:19 KJV And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.

A stone is used to represent idols.



Fish represent men

Ecclesiastes 9:12 KJV For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

Habakkuk 1:14 KJV And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?

Matthew 4:19 KJV And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

The Bible uses fish to represent men.




Genesis 3:1 KJV Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Revelation 12:9 KJV And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 20:2 KJV And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Most people know a serpent is used to represent the devil and Satan.

When we put the spiritual meaning of the key words into the parable we can see the deeper meaning.

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

Which one of you, when his son asks for the word of God, will give him an idol? Or if he asks about a man, will give him the devil?

As we can see the spiritual meaning of the parable also deals with essentials, the word of God and the salvation of men.

Fishers of men

Fishers of men

It may be a little difficult to understand the phrase, ask a man. Based on the texts compared, we can see Jesus referred to winning souls as fishing. When considering this, it is easy to see Jesus was referring to working for souls, and if you do not accept God’s gift, you are working for the devil.


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