I. "GIVE NOT THAT WHICH IS HOLY UNTO THE DOGS, NEITHER CAST YE YOUR PEARLS BEFORE SWINE."
A. At first view this seems to be in conflict with what Jesus has just said. He seems to contradict Himself, for He has just told us not to judge.
1. As we looked at the commandment not to judge lest we be judged we pointed out that what Jesus was talking about was going around constantly condemning, being critical of everything, pronouncing judgment and damnation on people.
2. This passage certainly proves that point for though Jesus told us not to judge, He is telling us here that we should be discerning.
3. Jesus is not saying that we shouldn't be discerning.
B. This shows the necessity of reading the text in its context, for if you stopped at verse 5, you could develop a totally false position.
1. We would try to be so careful not to judge that we would be without discernment.
2. The net effect in the church would be chaos.
3. There would be no exposing of heresy and judging it.
4. We could not exercise church discipline.
5. John tells us to try the spirits to see if they be of God. This would be impossible except for verse six, where Jesus explains His statement to judge not.
II. CAST NOT THAT WHICH IS HOLY UNTO THE DOGS, NEITHER CAST YE YOUR PEARLS BEFORE SWINE.
A. He is obviously referring to the scriptures, and the precious things that God has revealed to you of His love and goodness.
1. In the kingdom parables Jesus makes reference to a merchantman discovering a precious pearl.
2. Many times as we are reading the word, the Lord opens up our understanding to a passage of scripture, it is like finding a beautiful pearl.
3. You cannot share that special understanding with just anyone.
4. If you go to a total unbeliever or agnostic, and try to share the beauty of God's revelation to your heart, they will just make fun of you.
a. Worse yet, they often make derisive remarks about the Lord.
b. You are taking the precious things of God and exposing them to scorn.
5. Does Jesus mean that we are not to share the truth of the gospel with unbelievers?
B. What does he mean by dogs and swine?
1. The dog does not refer to the family pets. It was the wild scavenger dog that ran in packs and was a menace to their livestock. More like the coyote.
2. The swine always stood for that which was unclean.
C. How are we then to share the gospel with the world if we are not to give that which is holy to the dogs? Jesus sets the example for us. He shared the gospel with sinners.
1. The woman of Samaria who was notably sinful, and He knew the morally impure life that she was living, yet He revealed to her the fact that He was the promised Messiah.
2. To the woman taken in the act of adultery He announced that He did not condemn her, but exhorted her to go her way and sin no more.
3. To Zaccheaus who was a notable sinner in Jericho, Jesus more or less invited Himself to dinner at his house.
a. This shocked the Pharisees and brought the accusation against Jesus that He ate with publicans.
4. However when Pilate sent Jesus to Herod we read,
And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him for a long time, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.
Then he questioned Jesus with many words; but Jesus answered him nothing.
And the chief priests and scribes were standing there and and were making their accusations against Jesus.
And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked [him], and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
5. Jesus was unwilling to satisfy the morbid curiosity of this despot.
6. We thus see that Jesus used discrimination as to He shared the truth.
D. We see Paul following this same example when at Antioch in Pisidia;
And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
For so hath the Lord commanded us, [saying], I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
1. The same thing happened again at Corinth.
And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews [that] Jesus [was] Christ.
And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood [be] upon your own heads; I [am] clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
And he departed thence, and entered into a certain [man's] house,
III. HOW DO WE APPLY THESE WORDS TO US?
A. We recognize that there are different types of persons, and we learn to discriminate in how to share the gospel.
1. Jude told the believers:
And of some have compassion, making a difference:
And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
a. This shows us that our witness is not to be mechanical.
b. Many have a canned approach.
c. We need to be discerning on how to approach a person with the riches of God's love.
d. Some are motivated by love to come to Jesus Christ. It is the goodness of God that brings them to repentance.
e. Others are motivated by fear. The fear of the judgment, the fear of hell.
2. We must not try to push the truth on one who is antagonistic.
a. God does not require us to argue a person into the faith.
b. We should be ready to give to every man an answer for the hope that we have within us, but our duty is to share the truth, and if their is bitter resistance to our sharing, then to just let the issue go.
c. Some can become so forceful as to be obnoxious.
IV. THIS TEXT TEACHES US INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT SIN.
A. It can so harden a person's heart, and so distort his ability of rational thinking, that he is unable to reasonably discuss the precious truths of God.
1. They become like a snarling dog, or a wild boar.
2. They turn with hatred and venom against the person who in love is trying to share with them the eternal truths of God's love.
3. They hate God without a reason.
4. The carnal mind is enmity against God, and is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be. The word enmity is hate, has a hate for God. Sin makes man hate God and the things of God.
B. In conclusion, I would say that we need to be careful with whom we share some of the beautiful experiences that we have with the Holy Spirit. Some of the things are so personal and intimate that few people would appreciate and understand.
1. I would not want to expose these personal things that are so deep and meaningful to me to someone that might ridicule or scorn these beautiful experiences.
2. Not that the people were necessarily dogs or swine, but they just do not have an appreciation for such things, and would seek to discount them or scorn them.