I’ve often wondered about these words from Jesus, and the connection between judging others and protecting what is sacred. It seems like two different streams of thought, unrelated to each other. But let’s follow Jesus’ flow of teaching for a moment…
Jesus wants for all people not to perish but to be saved for eternity (see John 3:16) and that means I need to find ways of sharing this good news with those around me. The first “pearl” that needs to addressed is our reason for needing saving in the first place – our alienation from God caused by sin, selfishness, and shame. I cannot expect repentance and a turning to God from my friend if I am not modelling the same repentance. I need to address the ‘log’ in my own eye first.
But let’s assume that I have repented and I am actively turning my life toward living for Jesus. The next question I need to ask is, “is my friend ready to hear the gospel – the priceless sacrifice of Jesus for their sin, selfishness and shame?” Wisdom for the right timing is required here – and lots of prayer! They may not be ready, and if we force the gospel on them the results could be disastrous – for us and them (see v6). But just because they are “pigs” today doesn’t mean they will be “pigs” tomorrow. This is where prayer is vital. After addressing the sin in ourselves we need to not race ahead with sharing the gospel but rather pray for a green light from God that the way is clear and the hearts of our friends are open and ready to receive.
Lord, please give me wisdom to know when to speak and when to be silent. Please open the hearts of the friends and family that I love – to receive the precious pearl of your good news.
Written by Boudy Van Noppen