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Summary: Sound direction given by Jesus on how a Christian is to make judgements.

Dogs and Swine

Matthew 7:6


What does the phrase mean?

· Waste something on something or someone who does not appreciate it; offer excellent goods to those not worthy.

I. Define Terms

a. Holy (Hagios): Sacred(physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated)

b. Dogs

i. Judaizers: Philip. 3:2

ii. Unclean: Gentiles or unbelievers

c. Pearl

i. A word of great value

d. Swine

i. Unclean – do not chew cud

ii. Symbolic of greed and filth

II. Commands and exceptions concerning 4 Holy Things

a. Holy Bible

Command: Rom 10:13-17

Exception: Matthew 10:11-15

b. Gospel message

Command: Matthew 28:18-20

Exception: Acts 13:44-52

c. Eucharist (Lord’s Supper)

Command: Luke 22:19

Exception: 1 Cor. 10:21-22 , 1 Cor. 10:27-29

d. Reproof

Command: Proverbs 25:12

Exception: Proverbs 23:9

III. Application of Holy to Dogs

a. Commanded to go once

b. If they rejects the Bible or Gospel, blood is no longer on hands

i. Notice a few things

1. Some dogs will growl when you feed them

2. Bite the hand that feeds them

3. Sacrifice: Dog sees it a s just a piece of meat

c. But if we do not go, blood is on our hands

i. Some say: “I went, and that person is never going to get saved…”

ii. If every person were to go once then look how many times that person would receive the Gospel

1. “Well I don’t know how to witness”

2. Illustration: I am not a nurse or a doctor but if someone is hurting I will do what I can to help them get to the Great Physician

IV. Application of second part of verse

a. And what about these pigs? The main thing to know about pigs is that in the whole of the Bible they are viewed as unclean. They are also vicious, and in the wild they can turn and kill someone by cutting him or her with their teeth and tusks, which are so fouled by the muck they wallow in that they poison the victim. It is the poison that kills the victim, not the cuts. Thus, the imagery Jesus is using here is very vivid: If you choose to cast your personal pearls before pigs, don’t be surprised if they are trampled, and those same swine turn on you and tear you to pieces.

b. Your pearls: that which is a personal treasure or personal secret kept close to your heart should not be shared with just anyone. This is particularly true when you consider what a pearl is. The pearl stands alone among gemstones as the product of a living organism. A grain of sand or some other foreign object comes into the shell of an oyster, and the oyster then covers it with layer upon layer of nacre to lessen its pain, until the irritant becomes a pearl. Thus, the pearl is hidden and is of great value, but it comes at great cost or great pain. The "pearls" Jesus is speaking of are the secret things of your heart, which must not be shared with just anyone, because there are hard hearts and gossiping tongues out there.

c. If you throw a pearl in a pig pen he will not appreciate its worth

d. Caution: Matthew Henry: We must be cautious in who we condemn as dogs and swine because many are wrote off and forgotten about.

e. Caution: God may choose to send us more than once like he did Moses


J.C. Ryle, “The second portion of these verses teaches us the importance of exercising discretion as to the persons with whom we speak on the subject of religion. Everything is beautiful in it’s place and season. Our zeal is to be tempered by a careful consideration of times, places, and persons. "Reprove not a scorner," says Solomon, "lest he hate thee." (Prov. 9:8.) It is not everybody to whom it is wise to open our minds on spiritual matters. There are many, who from violent tempers, or openly reckless habits, are utterly incapable of valuing the things of the Gospel: they will even fly into a passion, and run into greater excesses of sin, if we try to do good to their souls; to name the name of Christ to such people is truly to "cast pearls before swine." It does them not good, but harm: it rouses all their corruption, and makes them angry; in short, they are like the Jews at Corinth (Acts 18:6), or like Nabel, of whom it is written, that he was "such a son of Belial, that a man could not speak unto him." (I Sam. 25:17.)

The lesson before us is one which it is peculiarly difficult to use in the proper way. The right application of it needs great wisdom. We are most of us far more likely to err on the side of over-caution then of over-zeal: we are generally far more disposed to remember the "time to be silent," then the "time to speak." It is a lesson, however, which ought to stir up a spirit of self-inquiry in all our hearts.”

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