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April 3, 2014
I’ve been going through Matthew’s gospel and have been thinking a lot on verse 6 and casting our pearls before swine. Leading up to that the first five verses speak of not judging others yet verse 6 suggests we us a level of judgment/discernment when it comes to sharing the things of God with certain people. It brought a few people in my life to mind. I’m hoping for a little feedback on how you look at these verses and live out verse 6. Thanks.
King James Version: Matthew Chapter 7
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
FWIW … I think judging means you are giving yourself permission to take decide who is important or who is not, who is worth showing honor etc…
I remember our Lord refusing to comply with Herod’s request for a miracle… To me that defines pearls and swine – but, it does take some discernment to tell genuine interest in the Faith i guess … Pray. ?
It’s an interesting question…some commentators don’t believe v.6 belongs in the test.
We also have Pauls demand to judge those inside the church.
“The context provides a healthy balance. If we are not to ‘judge’ others, finding fault with them in a censorious, condemning or hypocritical way, we are not to ignore their faults either and pretend that everybody is the same. Both extremes are to be avoided. The saints are not judges, but ‘saints are not simpletons’ either.3 If we first remove the log from our eye and thus see clearly to take a speck from our brother’s eye, he (if he is a true brother in the Lord) will appreciate our solicitude. But not everyone is grateful for criticism and correction. According to the book of Proverbs, this is one of the obvious distinctions between a wise man and a fool: ‘Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.’1
Who then are these ‘dogs’ and ‘pigs’? By giving them these names Jesus is indicating not only that they are more animals than humans, but that they are animals with dirty habits as well. The dogs he had in mind were not the well-behaved lapdogs of an elegant home but the wild pariah dogs, vagabonds and mongrels, which scavenged in the city’s rubbish dumps. And pigs were unclean animals to the Jew, not to mention their love for mud. The apostle Peter was later to refer to them by bringing together two proverbs: ‘The dog turns back to his own vomit,’ and ‘The sow is washed only to wallow in the mire.’2 The reference is at least to the fact that unbelievers, whose nature has never been renewed, possess physical or animal life, but not spiritual or eternal life. We remember also that Jews called Gentile outsiders ‘dogs’.3 But Christians certainly do not regard non-Christians in this contemptuous way. So we have to penetrate more deeply into Jesus’ meaning.
His command is that we should not give dogs what is holy and not throw our pearls before swine. The picture is plain. A Jew would never hand ‘holy’ food (perhaps food previously offered in sacrifice) to unclean dogs. Nor would he ever dream of throwing pearls to pigs. Not only were they also unclean, but they would probably mistake the pearls for nuts or peas, try to eat them and then—finding them inedible—trample on them and even assault the giver. But if the picture or parable is clear, what is its meaning? What is the ‘holy’ thing, and what are the ‘pearls’? Some of the early fathers thought the reference was to the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist, and argued from it that unbelieving, unbaptized people should not be admitted to Communion.”
Stott, J. R. W., & Stott, J. R. W. (1985). The message of the Sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7): Christian counter-culture (pp. 180–181). Leicester; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Thank you Em. what you shared strikes home for me. Yet I have experienced when a person makes it very plain their hate/disdain for the gospel. “Pray. ” Amen!
Thanks Michael, it seems that Stott wrestled with the topic a bit as well? It is the first time I’ve read of this referring to the Lord’s Supper. I suspect there must be varying opinions in the church as to what this is seeking to teach us.
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