Who to Teach

Following Jesus’ model, the disciple-making minister is, to some degree, selective with regard to who he teaches. That may surprise you, but it is true. Jesus often spoke to the multitudes in parables, and He had a reason for doing so: He didn’t want everyone to understand what He was saying. This is clear from Scripture:

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” And He answered and said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (Matt. 13:10-13).

The privilege of understanding Christ’s parables was reserved only for those who had repented and decided to follow Him. Those who turned down the opportunity to repent, resisting God’s will for their lives, were likewise resisted by God. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (see 1 Pet. 5:5).

Similarly, Jesus instructed His followers: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matt. 7:6). Obviously, Jesus was speaking figuratively. He meant, “Don’t give what is valuable to those who don’t appreciate its value.” Pigs don’t realize that pearls are precious, and likewise spiritual pigs don’t value God’s Word when they hear it. If they believed it was actually God’s Word that they were hearing, they would give it their utmost attention and obey it.

How do you know if someone is a spiritual pig? You cast one pearl his way and see what he does with that one pearl. If he disregards it, then you know he is a spiritual pig. If he obeys it, then you know he is not a spiritual pig.

Unfortunately, too many pastors are doing what Jesus told them not to do, continually casting their pearls before pigs, teaching people who are resisting or have rejected God’s Word. Those ministers are wasting their God-given time. They should have shaken the dust off their feet and moved on long ago, just like Jesus commanded.