Pearls & Pigs
How do we heed the advice of Jesus given in Matthew 7:6? “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”
Many ask, “Are we not supposed to go throughout the world sharing the good news of Christ? Those of the world are unholy, so how is this supposed to work?"
There is a difference between the "lost" and the "pigs" as spoken of in Matthew. Jesus put it many ways. There are four types of people in the world, and Jesus gives us a parable concerning these four types of people when it relates to the Gospel. He said: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Matthew 13:3-9 NLT
Later Jesus goes on and explains this parable to his disciples. “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Matthew 13:18-23 NLT
What is significant about the "pig"? As with all the teachings and illustrations Jesus shared, there is great importance in the message. To understand the purity of the Gospel, I like to usually stay within the bounds of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John) when teaching the truths which Jesus handed down. I explain my reasonings in another post, however, this time I will also reference Romans chapter 1.
You can read in Romans chapter 1 for a good example of the mind of a pig. Said of these people, “Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.” Romans 1:28 NLT
In the parable above, you can also liken the footpath that the seed fell on as the "pig" (or "swine"). They both represent those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it because they don’t even try to acknowledge the seed, which is the Gospel.
People who do not acknowledge God and who reject his Holy Spirit are the "pigs" spoken of here. They have a reprobate mind and blaspheme the Holy Spirit. It is these people who will bog you down in mindless debates, ridicule the disciples of Christ, threaten you, and harm you if at all possible. Sometimes it’s physical, but it can be verbal abuse, lawsuits, slander, or anything that they can do to discredit you and your message. Sometimes it’s even as simple as keeping you distracted in mindless debates while you, as consequence, become unfruitful in your discipleship. Do not cast your pearls to these people! Do not waste your precious message and time with these people. If you see that they are this way, dust off your shoes and move on to fertile ground where your efforts can become fruitful.
With love and the good news of Christ, I desire nothing more than God’s will on earth as it is in Heaven.
Joseph R. Stansel