Reading Hearts

Today we’re going to look at a hard saying of Jesus in Matthew 7:6. Verses 1–5 are music to modern people’s ears — there’s nothing hard or particularly difficult about the first five verses. But in the context of the entire passage, you will see why verse 6 can be so difficult for people to understand and accept. 

Jesus is likening someone to a dog and to a pig. It almost seems contradictory to verses 1-5, right? And how does it square with his charge to tell everyone the good news? Are we to write people off? What Jesus means here is that animals need care, i.e. you shouldn’t give pigs something they can’t digest or handle. So when we look at the parable in this light, we see that Jesus is actually scolding the caretaker in a sense. Let’s look further into what this teaches us about the hearts we have and the help we need.

This sermon was preached by Dr. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on July 9, 2000. Series: Hard Sayings of Jesus 2000. Scripture: Matthew 7:1-6.

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