It is easy to see that these eight verses can be divided into three parts.
(I) Jesus invites his disciples to ask, to seek and to knock (verses 7-11)
(II) Jesus uses a “golden rule” to explain what the essence of the law and the prophets is (verse 12), and
(III) He calls upon them to go through the narrow gate.
That verse 12 is particularly important, is also obvious.
What is harder to notice, is how (whether) these three parts form a unit. It is often said that verses 7-11 (ask, seek and knock) should be understood against the background of Jesus’ teachings on prayer (6:9-13 – the well-known Lord’s Prayer). When the whole passage of 7:4-14 is read against the background of 6:5-15, interesting lines appear.
That is why we need to develop a new sensitivity towards people. Not a sensitivity that wants to know, “Do other people notice me?” or “Do they like me?” A sensitivity that wants to know, “So if I want forgiveness – whom must I forgive?”, “If I want acceptance – whom must I accept?” or “If I need understanding, support, friendship, etc. – to whom can I offer it?”
In a society where HIV and AIDS are estranging people from one another, there are many “opportunities” to give others what we daily ask and seek ourselves. The aids pandemic (people who live with HIV and aids) are, in a manner of speaking, standing before the church’s (Christians’) doors knocking, seeking and asking, “Do to us what you want done to you.”