Luke 11:5-13 (NIV):

5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 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!

  1. Verse 13 says that the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. Question: is this verse talking about the baptism in the Holy Spirit or some other special outpouring or infilling of the Holy Spirit? I ask this first question because believers supposedly already have the Holy Spirit, so why ask for the HS unless verse 13 is referring to a special manifestation or something of that sort?
  2. Verses 5-8 present an allegoric situation in which someone had to be persistent in their asking in order to get the expected answer. Question: does this mean that God may intentionally delay his answer to a request and therefore the believer is expected to show "shameless audacity" or "perseverance" in their asking in order to receive the answer?
  3. Taking it all together: is the whole passage implying that believers should seek to be filled with / baptized in the Holy Spirit, and that they should do so with perseverance (meaning that, there might be some delay in the answer which the believer is expected to endure)?

2 Answers 2


I would say, yes, you are correct.

God tries the righteous :

The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. [Psalm 11:5 KJV]

Whoever approaches God will be tried as to their sincerity, their honesty and their integrity.

In this particular context those who ask for the Spirit will be tried as to why they have asked to be granted such a request.

And they are fore-warned by the parable that they will have to be persistent in order to be granted what they seek.

Those who are half-hearted, will fall away. They will faint from asking and will then find something else to focus upon. They will give up and find something else to be entertained with.

For the Holy Spirit is given, consequent upon justification. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst the righteousness (there is no 'after' in the original) said Jesus, Matthew 5:6, for they shall be filled, the inference being that, as a result of justification - which is a matter of the righteousness of God and not one's own righteousness, they shall be filled with the Holy Spirit.

So persons who just want the Spirit in order to gratify themselves in some way, as Simon Magus, Acts 8:9-24, only so that he could do as the apostles did and be famous like them and be important and possibly be showered with favour and money, will have their request denied. And quite rightly.

For the Holy Spirit is given that we might know and understand and worship God.

The Holy Spirit is given that we may have life, eternal life residing within us, the eternal life which is of the Father (1 John 1:2) :

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. [John 17:3 KJV]


The obvious (quite conspicuous) meaning of Jesus' mini parable about the midnight request for food as precisely as the OP suggests and is consistent with other NT teaching on this subject.

  • Heb 6:4-6 - It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age— and then have fallen away—to be restored to repentance, because they themselves are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to open shame.
  • King Saul who was a statesman and prophet called by God (1 Sam 10:11, 12, 19:24), yet was ultimately lost when he consulted demons for advice and then committed suicide.
  • Jesus’ parable of the 10 virgins contains two classes of people called “wise” and “foolish”. All were invited to the wedding; All were virgins symbolizing purity, see Rev 14:5; All had lamps, ie, lights symbolizing Christ as the light of the world, John 1:4, 9, 8:12, 9:5, Matt 5:14-16; All, at least initially had oil - but this is the crux of the parable - five virgins had enough oil and five did not have enough because they complained that their lamps were going out. In the NT oil represents the gift of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:18, Acts 10:38, 2 Cor 1:21, 22, 1 John 2:20). Thus, Jesus teaches that some who are called and have been given the Holy Spirit (see also Heb 6:4-6) can still be excluded from the Kingdom of God.
  • Gal 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
  • The NT contains several examples of people being repeated "filled with the Holy Spirit" and suggest that is is an on-going process throughout the Christian's life: John 20:22, Acts 2:4, 4:8, 31, 7:55, 9:17, 31, 13:9, 52, Eph 5:18, etc.
  • It also needs to be pointed out that the door will stand open until the last martyr has been killed (Rev 6:11) Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 22:59
  • @Constantthin - yes I agree. Good point.
    – Dottard
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 23:46

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