Pearls and pigs - Hope 103.2

Pearls and pigs

By David ReayWednesday 6 Jul 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Matthew 7:6

6 “You must not give holy things to dogs, nor must you throw your pearls before pigs—or they may trample them underfoot and turn and attack you.” (JBP)

This is one of those sayings of Jesus that has us scratching our heads. On the one hand, the principle seems clear enough: don’t give what is valuable to those who won’t value it. But the application is not so clear. Some Jews of his time would relate it to their reluctance to share their God with Gentiles. But that flies in the face of the rest of the Bible. Others applied it to a refusal to share the Lord’s Supper with those whose faith was doubtful. But that seems far too specific and fraught with practical difficulties.

Perhaps we need to note the immediate context; always a good idea! Jesus has been warning against wrong or hasty or hypocritical judgements. Here, he may be warning against making no judgements at all. In many situations in life, we practise discrimination (which is the literal meaning of the biblical word for ‘judgement’).

When it comes to sharing the gospel, for example, we may want to share it with all and sundry. But perhaps there are times and places where we might refrain. It will only be mercilessly mocked; it will only be used as an excuse for some anti-Christian rant. Even Jesus refused to enter into dialogue with Herod, and he often spoke in parables as a means of sorting out who was really interested in what he had to say.

We dare not judge wrongly, but we dare not suspend judgement altogether.

David Reay