THE GOSPELS 58
HOW WE SHOULD HANDLE THE TRUTH
Jesus said, “Give not that which is holy to the dogs”, nor “Cast your pearls before swine”. Of course, Jesus is not saying people are dogs or swine. That would not be His nature to so designate creatures made in the image of God. No, He is saying that no one throws pearls to swine, and also one should not try to give the truth to people who neither appreciate nor want to hear it. In John 10, Jesus says there are some people who will never believe on Him because they are not the kind of people who want to go where He leads. He says they are simply not His sheep, for His sheep follow where He leads and have no desire to follow any other path.
Preaching the Gospel is bringing good news to those who, conscious of their own sinfulness, long for forgiveness and the hope of salvation. They want a purpose to their life which can only be given them by their Creator and in the message of the Gospel that is available. However, it is not a message to be forced on those who do not want such a relationship with the Father, and who want to follow their own will instead of His. In this statement, Jesus is saying it is useless to preach the message of truth to people like that, just as it is useless to offer swine lovely jewelry.
I have often said that preaching the loving story of the Gospel is easy. What is hard is getting people to understand that they need it. Even religious people often substitute loyalty to their church, or the rituals and trappings of religion,
for the Cross and the need for repentance and forgiveness. The blood of Jesus Christ represents the sacrifice which was necessary because of our sins. It is given freely only to those who recognize their sins and really want to be forgiven and to make Him the Lord of their life. To those who enjoy all the trappings of religion without a consciousness of sin and penitence, the Gospel message has no importance. Jesus is saying you waste your time trying to force the Gospel on people like this.
I need to make a regular inventory of myself and ask these questions: 1. Am I really conscious of God’s presence with me in the decisions I make today? 2. Do I ever refuse myself anything which I want to do because His will would not approve? 3. How much time do I spend talking to Him in prayer each day? And finally…4. Am I conscious of my sins and seriously asking Him to help me overcome them? All of these questions are what it means to be a Christian, i.e., a follower of Christ.
Jesus says, “Don’t waste time on the avowed disbeliever, nor those who feel their own goodness is enough. Take the message of hope to the hopeless, and the message of forgiveness to the man conscious of his sins and wanting an answer”.