“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
Pigs and Pearls
(Please read Matthew 7:1-6)
On another day we meditated on the distinction between judgment and discernment, beginning with this text. Now let’s go a little further, looking at the last verse cited above: “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 then turn and tear you to pieces” (NIV).
So it seems that Jesus is teaching us not to be hypocritical faultfinders, but also not to be gullible. In other words, use some common sense in dealing with people and don’t be taken in by smoothies. Both pigs and dogs were unclean animals in the eyes of the Jews, and either animal was (and is) capable of inflicting great harm on a human being when angered. Neither animal has the slightest appreciation for the higher qualities we treasure.
Who did Jesus have in mind when he referred to “dogs” and “pigs”? Well, the kingdom of heaven (the church) is the valuable “pearl” in one of Christ’s parables (Matthew 13:45-46), and God’s word is holy (Romans 1:2). So it appears that Jesus had in mind people who continually and repeatedly reject the gospel. At some point in dealing with such people we must see them for what they are and decide that the best thing we can do for them is to leave them alone. This difficult decision should be made only so our efforts can be directed toward others who may react more favorably to the good news of Jesus Christ. May God help us to use good judgment and make right decisions in such cases. ‘