An example of judging (Matthew 7:1-6)

Published on Thursday, 30 November 2017 06:05

The Saviour instructs his disciples not to give what is holy to dogs or their pearls to swine. Obviously, a dog would not understand what to do with something that is dedicated to God and nor would a pig know what to do with pearls. At one level, this is common sense. Jesus is teaching his disciples that they have some things that others will not appreciate.

Jesus also teaches that it is not wise to try and give what is holy and what is valuable to people who are going to be enraged by it. This means that his disciples must work out if a situation is appropriate for them to mention what is holy or talk about their pearls. Although his people will be opposed at times, they have to judge when to speak.

We need to work out what is meant by holy and pearls and who are meant by dogs and pigs. Things that are holy belong to God and things that are pearls are valuable and attractive. It is not hard to see here a reference to the gospel and its benefits. Dogs and pigs describe animals that move aggressively in packs and herds. All they are interested in is their next meal. Did Jesus have the Pharisees and Sadducees in mind by those animal pictures? They would be the initial opponents of the disciples.

The disciples of Jesus will discover that many people will hate and despise and oppose the gospel, and sometimes do so violently, as is happening in many places today. Therefore, they need to be wise when they share their spiritual treasures with hostile unbelievers. In the Book of Acts, the apostles stopped preaching in the synagogues whenever the listeners became abusive and threatening. Spiritual treasures include the gospel, the teachings of the Bible, and the personal experiences of Christians.

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