Summary: This is Part 13 in a 14-part series of studies I call “The Christian Character” from what is familiarly known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” In this part, we look at Jesus' teaching about judging, and not giving what is holy to dogs and pigs.

Part 13 - Do not judge, do not give what is holy to dogs and pigs

Sermon on the Mount

The Christian Character

Matthew 5:3 - 7:27

(Cf. Luke 6:20-49)

This is Part 13 in a 14-part series of studies I call “The Christian Character” as described by Jesus to a crowd of people on a Galilean hillside as he delivered what is more familiarly known as the “Sermon on the Mount.”

The 14 parts are as follows:

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – Beatitudes – the poor in spirit

Part 3 - Beatitudes – those who mourn

Part 4 - Beatitudes – the meek, and those who hunger and thirst

Part 5 - Beatitudes – the merciful and the pure in heart

Part 6 - Beatitudes – peacemakers

Part 7 - Beatitudes – the persecuted and insulted

Part 8 - Salt of the earth and light of the world

Part 9 - Righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees; divorce, oaths

Part 10 - Eye for eye, loving neighbor and hating enemy, being perfect

Part 11 - Three things to do, not to be seen by men and a model prayer

Part 12 - Laying up treasures, eye is the lamp of the body, serving two masters

Part 13 - Do not judge, do not give what is holy to dogs and pigs

Part 14 - Ask, seek, and knock; the narrow gate; false prophets; building on the rock

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Last week we examined Jesus’ teaching about laying up treasures in heaven, the eye as the lamp of the body, and the impossibility of serving two masters who are set against one another.

In Matt 6:19-34 Jesus tell us to lay up “treasures in heaven” and “not to worry” about life’s necessities.

We noted that in the original language, “lay up” is defined as “set aside” or “store up”. It is the same word Paul used in 1 Cor 16:2 -

“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store.” (KJV)

“Store” in the Corinthian letter is from the same word in the original language as “lay up” in Jesus’ sermon in Galilee.

The expression “lay by in store” has become and idiom of speech in the church, meaning “place your contribution in the tray as it passes by,” so that the work of the church may go on. But in the Corinthian passage, the NASB says “put aside and save,” and ESV says “each of you is to put something aside and store it up” both of which are more expressive of the original meaning. The purpose there was that those stored up gifts were to be given to Paul when he came to Corinth to be transported to Judea for the Christians suffering under a famine.

We observed that as it pertains to this teaching, the Christian character is well described by A. W. Tozier in his book, The Pursuit of God - Chap 2 “The blessedness of possessing nothing” -

“God created the heavens and the earth with ten thousand and more useful and pleasant

things for man’s sustenance and delight. And when God created man, within man was a heart, which could feel and love. Within man’s heart there is a shrine into which no one but God is worthy to come. It was made for God alone. Outside man, those ten thousand and more precious gifts shower daily upon us, every one being an instance of God’s love and caring for man. But sin introduced complications and made those very gifts of God a source of ruin to the soul. Our woes began when God was forced out of his shrine and things were allowed to enter. Within the human heart, things have taken over. Men no longer by nature have peace within their souls, but there in the moral dusk stubborn and aggressive usurpers fight among themselves for first place on the throne.”

“This,” says Tozer,

“is not just a metaphor, but an accurate analysis of the spiritual trouble of man.”

I agreed with Tozer. And I believe that all of Jesus’ teaching in Matt 6 and Matt 7:1-6 rest on the truth of that analysis, for it reflects that tug-of-war between what we know we should value--in summary, God enthroned within our hearts--and what we really value.

Those values – or treasures – drive our motivations, and our motivations drive our actions.

If what we really value the transitory blessings, and not their giver, we have allowed things to enter God’s place; i.e., possessions, comforts, entertainment, or prestige (the approval of men).

We cannot completely avoid using of temporal goods. We need some of this world’s goods and must have them in order to live; but there is a blurry and shifty boundary between our needs and our wants. Jesus wore clothing and ate food, but he did not place a high value on earthly things beyond what he needed to sustain life and achieve his mission.

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