“Why should anyone hear the gospel twice until everyone’s heard it once?” Oswald J Smith
This quote from a Canadian Pastor, author and missions leader sums up this blog and explains the saying of Jesus:
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7 v 6)
Jesus has warned of hypocrisy andt has just said that once we deal with the plank in our own eye we can be best placed to help someone else with the speck in theirs. But help we should.
In balancing all this up Jesus reminds us that there are some people who are just really difficult people.
You don’t want to be a dog or a pig for that matter in the generation of the Sermon on the Mount. To describe anyone like these animals was an insult. Dogs (Psalm 59:14-15) are wanderers looking for food and pigs (Psalm 80:13) are scavenging whatever is before them. Both animals destroy, walk over and ravage whatever is in front of them.
I love fillet steak. It is for me the best most succulent cut. I simply love it. I would never throw fillet steak to even a pet dog which over the years is very different to the dogs of Jesus day. Nor would I put it in the swill for the pigs.
Jesus is saying the same thing about pearls which could refer to the Sermon on the Mount teaching, the keys of the kingdom, His message.
This is a practice of discernment. You are not writing people off but you are discerning whether the person will receive what you have to say regarding helping them become a follower of Jesus. It is discernment within judgment.
And so back to the opening quote. How many more times are dogs and pigs going to be offered pearls when all they do is waste it? How many more times are you going to keep on feeding people who have no intention of changing, of growing and becoming like Christ when all along there are people waiting to hear God’s word from you?
When I look back on my years as a Pastor I roll my eyes at the hours and hours spent on some people who were never going to be held accountable and grow as a disciple, One of the things I would tell my younger self is be careful who I give my pearls to. Seek discernment more. Share your fillet steak with people who are going to appreciate it.