Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:6 NABRE
We have this unusual saying from Jesus about dogs and pigs and how they should not receive what is holy and valuable. Jews referred to Gentiles as dogs, Jesus even uses the term when asked for a healing by a Gentile woman for her daughter (see Matthew 15:21-28) It is not a very faltering image, dogs in Palestine were scavengers, not domesticated pets during the time of Jesus and so were looked upon as a nuisance. Jews believe pigs are filthy animals and are restricted from eating their meat. So naming these two animals is a means to say those unwanted or not worth any trouble to consider. The message is don’t give them anything holy; to be holy is to be set apart, sacred, and don’t give them anything as valuable as pearls, a highly sought after item of woman’s fonery. But how could Jesus speak of anyone as dogs or pigs? Jesus has come as the Messiah of the Jews and His message is for the Jews. This will change after his Ascension and Gentiles will be evangelized and welcomed into the church. But it is the Jew who is set as a light on a hill for everyone to see. Jesus may be telling His disciples don’t spend time evangelizing those who have no history with God, those not prepared to receive the Messiah, rather build up the church from those a with spiritual introduction and are familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures.
Sometimes in church world we try to convert people easily and quickly and build up the church with many Christians without true conversion. Jesus may be warning us about seeking disciples for the sake of having disciples. Rather disciples should help each other go deeper and love more like Jesus.
Who do you seek to convert? Are you going deeper in your faith?Sometimes in church world we try to convert people easily and quickly and build up the church with many Christians without true conversion. Jesus warns us about seeking disciples for the sake of having disciples. Click To Tweet
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