Hello and welcome to season 3 episode 27 of The Berean Manifesto; 10 minutes or so a week of Faith, Hope, and Love for the Modern Christian.  This is Pastor Bill of The Ekklesian House and in this installment we will be talking about the meaning of not “casting pearls before swine.”

Ok, so we have this pretty popular phrase from Jesus about not tossing or “casting” your pearls before swine.  And this particular quote I have seen used several times, but let’s start by putting it back in context.  This comes from Matthew chapter 7, starting right at the beginning of the chapter, Matthew 7:1-6 CSB, “[1] Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. [2] For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use. [3] Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? [4] Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a beam of wood in your own eye? [5] Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood our of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye. [6] Don’t give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them under their feet, turn, and tear you to pieces.”

I wish that were more straightforward, what Jesus was actually saying there.  But, as with most things translated from one language to another it can be difficult to cut through straight to what He meant.  Let’s break this into two parts and add some definition to each.  The first is this stuff about a beam of wood in your eye and a splinter in your brother’s eye.  This is the part that seems pretty understandable, but we don’t want to assume that we understand something and should look for something to back it up.

Let’s read Romans 2:17-24 CSB, “[17] Now if you call yourself a Jew, and rely on the law, and boast in God, [18] and know his will, and approve the things that are superior, being instructed from the law, [19] and if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light to those in darkness, [20] an instructor of the ignorant, a teacher of the immature, having the embodiment of knowledge and truth in the law – [21] you then, who teach another, don’t you teach yourself? You who preach, ‘You must not steal’ – do you steal? [22] You who say, ‘You must not commit adultery’ – do you commit adultery? You who detest idols, do you rob their temples? [23] You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? [24] For as it is written: The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

Paul here may have been directly addressing Jew’s, but I hope you can see the correlation on how that would apply to you and I as modern day believers in Christ.  We who have the light and have the truth.  We who have found true spiritual enlightenment have to walk our talk.  If we say to love our neighbor, then we should love our neighbor and so on.

In order to piece this all together let’s read Romans 14:1-12 CSB, it says, “[1] Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about disputed matters. [2] One person believes he may eat anything, while one who is weak eats only vegetables. [3] One who eats must not look down on one who does not eat, and one who does not eat must not judge one who does, because God has accepted him. [4] Who are you to judge another’s household servant? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And he will stand, because the Lord is able to make him stand. [5] One person judges one day to be more important than another day. Someone else judges every day to be the same. Let each one be fully convinced in his own mind. [6] Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, and he gives thanks to God. [7] For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. [8] If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. [9] Christ died and returned to life for this: that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living. [10] But why do you judge your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we all stand before the judgment seat of God. [11] For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God. [12] So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

Alright, so if we piece Matthew 7:1-5 and verse 6 back together with what we’ve just read from Romans we get a much better picture of what Jesus was teaching.  Allow me to put this in my own words, and if you’ve been following along for very long then you’ve already heard this from me.  As far as judging is concerned, your first duty is to judge yourself and make sure that you are following the convictions of your heart and following the scripture as you understand it.  If you judge another believer you are opening up the door for them to rightfully judge you, an honor that should only belong to God and those God appoints to that duty for you.  When you judge another believer, or worse an unbeliever, for what you perceive to be their sin you are becoming both the caster of that pearl that is God’s honor and the becoming the pig trampling on God’s honor all at the same time.

Now, before someone comes at me sideways, I didn’t say that you can do whatever you want and that there isn’t sin.  That is a theology that was held by some in the lifetimes of Paul and John who were called Nicolaitans, and we see a lot of that today cropping up into a lot of theological circles.  Jesus directly references them in Revelations chapter 2 verses 6 and 15-16, he says, Revelations 2:6 CSB, “[6] Yet you do have this: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”  And in verses 15-16 Revelations 2:15-16 CSB, “[15] In the same way, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. [16] So repent! Otherwise, I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”

It’s not simple, it’s this complicated matter that you have to struggle with yourself.  In 1 Corinthians 6:12 CSB Paul says, “’Everything is permissible for me,’ but not everything is beneficial.  ‘Everything is permissible for me,’ but I will not be mastered by anything.”  To a very real degree salvation has set you free to do anything.  But, that isn’t an excuse to do the things you know to be wrong.  Sin will wreck your life and leave you hurting.  You have to take the responsibility of identifying the things that are sin in your life.

This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”

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