A Parable Snapshot on Prayer — Dr. J. Vernon McGee

In the Gospel of Luke, our Lord uses a few brushstrokes to paint four portraits of prayer. They are simply snapshots to carry with you in your Christian walk. Put these snapshots to­gether for a composite picture of prayer.  Here’s one of the pictures.

The Parable of Fatherhood

In Luke 18:1, the Lord talked about how to live by faith in the last days. They’re difficult days, He said, when people’s hearts fail them for fear. This makes prayer all the more relevant for this hour. Jesus then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged. He told a lot of parables, stories with a divine purpose. I believe Jesus never told a fictitious story when teaching a parable. When He told a story, the people knew exactly the situation He was talking about.

One day, Jesus was teaching and told the parable of fatherhood.

If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? -Luke 11:11, 12

Jesus looked around at the crowd assembled that day and saw many fathers. He said, “You there, you’re a father. If your boy came to you and asked for bread, would you give him a stone?” Of course, no father would do that. So where did we get the idea we are better than God? If earthly fathers want to be good to their children, don’t you know the One who put a parent’s heart in us has Him­self a father’s heart? When you go to Him, you can expect Him to do the very best thing for you.

Before the Day of Pentecost, our Lord stated it this way:

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! -Luke 11:13

The highest gift any person can receive is the Holy Spirit. Writing to the Corinthians—and they were car­nal folk—Paul said,

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? -1 Corinthians 6:19

Everyone who trusts Christ—that is, becomes a child of God—is indwelt by the Spirit of God today. He dwells within us! This wonderful transac­tion began in believers on the Day of Pentecost. And in order for the Holy Spirit to come and indwell every believer, God had to give His own Son to die for us.

God today has already done for you the best He possibly can do.

To the Romans Paul said again,

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? -Romans 8:32

He will give us all things that are needful in our Christian life. He didn’t say He would give you everything you want, but everything you need.

Dwight L. Moody, in his inimitable way, used to illustrate this verse by imagining he went to Tiffany’s in New York, and Mr. Tiffany himself gifted him with the biggest diamond he had, saying, “Take it, it’s yours!” He’d close his illustration by asking, “Do you think if he gave me that diamond I would hesitate to ask him for a little piece of brown wrap­ping paper to take it home in?”

Listen, my friend, if God gave His Son to die for you—and now has given you the high­est gift, the Holy Spirit, to indwell you—do you think He will withhold from you any good thing? No! He has already done the best. He will not withhold from you any good thing. Do you believe that? Not many Christians do. But if you are His child, He will do for you the very best He can. And the best He can do is the best!


Dr. J. Vernon McGee began teaching Thru the Bible in 1967. After retiring from the pastorate, he set up radio headquarters in Pasadena, and the radio ministry expanded rapidly. Listeners never seem to tire of his unique brand of rubber-meets-the-road teaching, or his passion for teaching the whole Word of God.

Originally posted at Through the Bible.