How do you know if somebody is a spiritual pig before whom you should not cast any pearls?
Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson. This is another special Sydney, Australia edition of Little Lessons and the dusk is falling here on Sydney behind me, that’s what you’re looking at in the background there.
So if you’ve been listening to Little Lessons for any length of time, you know that recently we’ve been working our way through the sermon on the Mount and we’re currently in the seventh chapter in the Gospel of Matthew, kind of getting closer to the end of the sermon on the Mount.
We come across these words of Jesus and he said, starting in Matthew chapter seven and verse number six, “Do not give what is holy to dogs. Do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces.”
Oh my, that’s interesting. Obviously Jesus is not speaking there about literal dogs and literal pigs, swine, but these are symbols for people and people who are animal-like in their nature and specifically characterized by the fact that they don’t value what’s very valuable because obviously, there’s no dog on this planet that values spiritual things and eternal things.
So what Jesus is essentially saying here is that people who don’t value spiritual and eternal things, they’re in the category of dogs and that is a sad commentary on people.
In a typical rabbinic fashion, one point made with two examples, don’t cast your pearls before the swine. Pigs, when you toss a pearl to a pig, never in the history of humanity did a pig go, “Oh, oh, oh a pearl.” And try to somehow daintily pick that pearl up and preserve it because it recognizes its value.
Pigs are completely ignorant of the value of pearls and you throw a pearl to a pig and you might as well throw them a piece of corn or a piece of dirt or a stone, they don’t care, they just step on it.
That is what Jesus compares to those who don’t value what God values. His truth, His word, the gospel and again, it is a sad commentary on people when God looks at them and says, “Really, you’re about as smart as a pig, you’re as stupid as a dog.” But nevertheless, that’s what Jesus said. I didn’t say it, Jesus said it, okay?
So how do you know? How do you know? Well, this might be being a little bit too technical on this but this is what I’ve always thought and this is what I’ve always practiced.
If you throw something that’s holy to a dog and if you don’t know if it’s a dog or not, because we’re looking at human beings here now, you have to watch and see what they’re going to do with that first little holy thing that you throw to them. Pigs, the same way. You throw one pearl and you see what that pig does with that first pearl.
Again, it could be too technical but Jesus … “Don’t cast your pearls before the swine,” and so you could say well he’s not prohibiting one pearl because you got to throw them one pearl to know … you got to identify the character of the individual with whom you’re dealing.
Okay, so Jesus is saying, “It’s a waste of time and don’t waste your time on trying to help people who don’t value the message that you’re bringing and the truth that you’re bringing.”
Let’s face it as I’m saying this, we’re probably all thinking that, “Oh goodness, there’s a lot of people who fall into that category.” This is not the only time that Jesus expressed this spiritual principle.
He told his apostles, when he sent them out to go preach the gospel, he said, “If they don’t receive you in a city, shake the dust off your feet and get to the next city. Don’t waste your time on people who aren’t interested. Get moving to the next city.” He said in one case, “Leave the dead to bury the dead.” So don’t hang around the dead people trying to somehow resurrect them when they don’t want to receive the truth, that’s the only hope for their resurrection.
I think the church has made a huge mistake in this regard. We’ve plowed so many resources, so much effort, into the same people, the same pigs, the same dogs, while the whole world is waiting.
In any case, this is an over-simplification and an exaggeration but so many millions, hundreds of millions and even we could even say billions of people who haven’t had hardly any exposure. In some cases, they’ve had no exposure to the truth so the resources of the church ought to be going primarily to give those people a chance.
I think it was Oswald Smith who first said, “Why should anyone hear the gospel twice until everyone’s heard it once?”
So something to think about on a worldwide level as well as on a personal level. That doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t come back at a later time, sometimes people who are unreceptive become receptive but those people sometimes will come back to you when they become receptive, because they remembered what you said. Maybe they realize, “Oh my goodness, that guy gave me a pearl and that person could give me more pearls,” and so they’ll come back to you.
Again, on an international, worldwide level, this also has application as well. All right?
All right, thank you so much for joining me on today’s Little Lesson. God bless you.