May 16, 2016
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
I used to be a hog farmer. I got into the business when I bought two hogs from one of the men who worked on our farm. I promptly named them after my two sisters, Missie and Erica. Imagine how that went over. I have lots of stories from the hog farm I will reserve for another time, but I do want to make a fitting observation about this text.
Hogs eat indiscriminately. They eat anything and everything. About the only thing a hog will not eat is an orange. Hogs don’t care. Put before them a bucket of yesterday’s table scraps with some moldy bread soaked in soured milk, and next to it, on a piece of fine china, put a perfectly grilled $47 filet mignon steak and twice baked potato. Which will they choose? THEY DON’T CARE! Now reach your hand in and try to get your plate back. Still have all your fingers?
Despite the sheer extravagance of the Gospel, it does have a strategy and a sequence to it. We can share our pearls but only Jesus can reveal the Gospel. And we never can be certain of how or when he might do it. Evangelism is learning to participate seamlessly with Jesus by the loving power of the Holy Spirit to extravagantly and strategically share the Gospel.
To that end, Jesus gives us a warning here: Your average person who cares nothing about God couldn’t care less whether you are talking about Joel Osteen or John of the Cross. Don’t open up your journal to them and share the latest and deepest teaching the Holy Spirit has given you on the Sermon on the Mount. Just love them where they are. The sharing of pearls may or may not come in time. For now, just share a bag of peanuts and talk about the Cubs. ;0)
I think that’s what Wesley is getting at with these two choice morsels.
What conception can they have of being made partakers of the divine nature, who do not even desire to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust? Just as much knowledge as swine have of pearls, and as much relish as they have for them, so much relish have they for the deep things of God, so much knowledge of the mysteries of the gospel, who are immersed in the mire of this world, in worldly pleasures, desires, and cares. . .
Do not begin a discourse with these upon remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost; but talk with them in their own manner, and upon their own principles. p.214-215.
And no matter what, never ever ever refer to them as a pig. Do that and they will bite you for sure.
1. Do you have an experience of sharing your pearls with “pigs?” How did that go?
2. Can you remember being on the other side of that equation where you were the pig? What was that like?
3. “Evangelism is learning to participate seamlessly with Jesus by the loving power of the Holy Spirit to extravagantly and strategically share the Gospel.” What do you think of that idea?
J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.