Casting Pearls Before Swine or Casting Bread Upon the Waters…….

Casting pearls before swine or casting bread upon the waters…… some days I truly wonder which one I am about.
Matthew 7:6:
“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” These words of Jesus are recorded by Matthew, whose Gospel is written primarily for the benefit of Jewish hearers. It fits in with other verses in which Jesus cautions against judging others. The immediate preceding verse cautions one to take the log out of his own eye, then he’ll be able to see clearly to remove the speck from his brother’s eye. Jesus’ FIRST audience was the Jewish people…. in the synagogue of his own home town and we know how that went! Now here he’s speaking to his disciples and the crowds following him to hear his teaching and maybe be witness or beneficiary of a miracle. He knows he’s going to face suspicion, resistance, even jealousy, and being undermined and set up for death by the religious elite. His message is not for them…. they are like the dogs and pigs who may turn and viciously attack. It’s almost as if Jesus is reminding himself…. and us…. what we will be up against in trying to deal with those who have no idea what the value is of what they are receiving. But the Syro- Phoenician woman at Tyre shows that she is familiar with his teaching and believes in him even though she’s not a Jew, when she says to him,”…even the dogs are allowed to eat the crumbs that fall under the table!” He essentially says to her, “Great is your faith. Welcome to the banquet! Your daughter is healed!” Much to the surprise of his clueless disciples, who still carried residual bias against non-Jews receiving the Gospel at that point and just wanted her to go away and leave Jesus alone.
Ecclesiastes 11:1:
“Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days” According to some “Casting bread or sowing seed on water seems to be an exercise in futility. But you don’t know what the actual results will be, says Solomon; in faith be generous, and in faith expect a return somewhere down the road. This accords with Proverbs 11:18, “The one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward”; and Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Matthew’s report describes what appears to be a cautious approach, a hoarder’s actions, the behavior of one who feels compelled to protect one’s treasure and for the sake of one’s own self-protection. How did such thinking slip into Jesus’ words??? The same way his admonition to shake the dust of one’s village off your feet if people are unreceptive to the message of the disciples he sent out 2×2! He was giving his young, new disciples some protection until they had grown further in their ability to understand the deeper truths and handle any situation when they would later receive the equipping of the Holy Spirit!
Solomon’s wisdom suggests futility, just throwing out food for fish, but when cross referenced with other scriptures, it calls for faith and perseverance ….. sort of like fishing! LOL! And what did Jesus call us to be…… “fishers of men”…… I think this is a little like baiting a field in order to hunt, it might just call for throwing out some food to attract the fish!
On my trip to Wyoming, I got to see the beautiful Sinks State Park near. Lander. There is a river that flows into a cave and disappears down into the rocky subterranean fissures and crevasses. A ways down hill from that intake cave, there is a bubbling spring where the water comes out. The spring forms a clear pool from which the river continues on down the mountain. Near the bubbling spring, in the clear pool waters are some of the largest trout you would ever want to see! There is also a fish food dispenser on the path down to the overlook deck above the spring and pool. These trout are clearly lined up along the edge, in the shallows, waiting for what they know is likely to be feast of fish food from time to time!