Bible with Cross ShadowThere are times in my study of Scripture when I have to remind myself that all of God’s children are stewards of His mysteries; not so much in regards to my responsibility, but to remind myself that we all have access. The Master has entrusted us with His possessions. We have eyes to see and ears to hear; that we might understand the mysteries of God (Matthew 13:16-17).

Furthermore, we have the mind of Christ, and the Holy Spirit is our teacher. This should greatly encourage us that searching out the matter will be a profitable endeavor – even with the most challenging passages. We must always reject the temptation to pass over even one passage in the word of God. It is treasure for all that will diligently pursue the truth.

Now, I have said this before, and it bears repeating: Mysteries are often discovered in our searching out passages that seem to conflict with one another. Here, we have a great example.

Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. Matthew 7:6

This is interesting. Jesus anticipated that His followers would be tempted to give and cast holy and precious things to the wrong people. In the vernacular of His day, “dogs” was a label for the Gentiles – those people who were not Jews. “Swine” was used to describe the most unclean things and people; things and people that were to be strictly avoided.

If we didn’t know better, we would think that Jesus is instructing us to give and cast holy and precious things only to the believer. On the surface, this seems to countermand His commission to disciple all the nations (Matthew 28:19)? So, let’s dig a little deeper.

For starters, we must recognize that not all Gentiles are “dogs”; nor all unclean people, “swine”. That helps tremendously, and it directs us to a bigger question: How do we know which ones? This question is the key to our understanding.

The answer to this question bridges us back to the previous sayings on judging and judgment. Jesus is helping us see, from another perspective, that judging and judgment are not the same. In fact, judging is an important part of making disciples; including that part called evangelism.

At times, “judging” comes in the form of wisdom (i.e., you don’t preach from a street corner in North Korea). Other times, it is following the Holy Spirit’s direction. For example, sharing “what is holy” with every North Korean whom the Holy Spirit leads you.

In this and every case, we are to be discerning and selective in regards to our giving or casting that which has been sanctified to God. This requires a more intimate relationship with God, and with those that have come into our spheres of influence. We must know the Spirit’s voice, and something (more) about those we are here to disciple. That is the application of this saying of Jesus.

In closing, I offer to you an opinion. I hope and pray you will consider its application to you and your spheres of influence. The church has failed to hear and do this saying; not because we have shared with the wrong people, but because we have left the giving and casting of holy and precious things to those with certain position. In doing so, we have excused ourselves from the attention and discernment that God requires of us.

Humbly yours and forever His,