What Jesus Did! 'Pearls and Pigs' — Matthew 7:6

Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Don't give holy things to dogs. They will only turn and hurt you. And don't throw your pearls to pigs. They will only step on them."
— Matthew 7:6 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 7:6 NLT — "Don't give holy things to dogs. They will only turn and hurt you. And don't throw your pearls to pigs. They will only step on them."

Key Thought

Wow! Jesus uses really strong language here. At first, he seems to be breaking the very command that he just gave about being non-judgmental. But instead, Jesus is reminding us that being non-judgmental does not mean we are undiscerning, wasteful, and silly. We are to recognize that there are some people so hardened to receiving the message that they will not listen; we are to quit wasting our time in trying to convince them. He chooses the powerful imagery of a well-known proverb to make his point. He says similar things in a softer way elsewhere. The bottom line, however, is that there comes a time when we realize that people will not hear the Gospel message. Their repeated determination not to hear and their unwillingness to respond don't mean we are to try harder, but simply to try elsewhere! Being a nonjudgmental person does not mean we refuse to "see the handwriting on the wall" and keep wasting our efforts on those who refuse to hear.

Today's Prayer

Father of all mercy, give me wisdom to know when you have opened a door for me to reach out to my friends, family and neighbors, and when to move on to others. I don't want to give up too quickly on those who might respond, but neither do I want to simply try to be more hardheaded than those refusing to hear and further annoy them by continuing to try. Please lead me to those who are ready to hear of your grace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 10:11-15
  • Acts 13:46
  • Acts 28:28-31

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.