Matt. 7:6-14 Concerns of the Kingdom CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Remember that this is a Jewish king telling his Jewish disciples about things concerning his kingdom, the kingdom of heaven. In this lesson, we will study about what Jesus told them concerning:
False prophets (6);
Receiving good gifts (7-11);
The golden rule (12);
And the strait gate (13-14).
False Prophets (6)
Jesus was often very practical and descriptive in his instructions and often used simple and memorable parables to teach spiritual truths. Here’s one. Don’t give that which is holy to dogs. The priests weren’t even supposed to give the shewbread to David, the future king of Israel and a man after God’s own heart, (Matthew 12:4). Jesus reminded the Syrophonecian woman in Matt 15 that it is not meet to cast the children’s bread to dogs. Don’t cast your pearls before swine. This phrase has become a common expression since it’s so practical and descriptive. If you cast your pearls before swine, you will get torn up when you go in there to rescue your pearls.
The interpretation of this passage comes from cross referencing dogs, swine, pearls and holy in the Bible.
Dogs and swine are false prophets according to 2 Peter 2: 1, 22
Pearls in 1 Peter 2: 5 and Zechariah 9:16 are saints
Holy is a reference to God’s people in Deut 26:19
In the Old Testament, false prophets led the Jews astray. The false prophets (dogs) defiled the holy things (like the temple in Hezekiah and Josiah’s days [2 Ki 22; 2 Chr 29]) and they (swine) destroyed the people and the country (Jeremiah 27:14-15).
The lesson here is that in the kingdom of heaven the Lord’s people are pictured as holy and as pearls and they were not to be subverted by false prophets who were pictured as dogs and swine.
This would apply in the New Testament, as well. Turning Christians over to false teachers and preachers ruins them and the church (the Lord’s pearl, Matthew 13:45-46). This leads to apostasy.
Receiving Good Gifts (7-11)
In the kingdom of heaven, good gifts come from the Father in the same way that we, as fathers, give our children what they need (and yet we are evil).
Jews get these good gifts three different ways:
By asking – 1 Ki 3: 5
By seeking – Jeremiah 29:13
By knocking – Neh 1:11; 2: 5-6 Nehemiah knocked and got an open door
This is a promise in verse 8. We see illustrations of how this works in verses 9-10.
The lesson here is that if we being evil and know how to give good gifts, how much more will Jesus’ Father.
This is part of the New Testament prayer promise, as well, but notice that Jesus didn’t say anything about praying “in Jesus’ name,” (John 14:13-14).
The Golden Rule (12)
This lesson deals primarily with beneficial reciprocation.
This rule basically sums up the law and the prophets. According to Luke 16:16, the law and the prophets were until John. So this is an Old Testament rule (Matthew 22:37-40). Now we are in the kingdom of God and our salvation is not based upon the “golden rule.” We are saved by Jesus’ shed blood. However, it is still beneficial to practice this rule, Rom 13:9.
The Strait Gate (13-14)
This lesson shows that the majority is wrong. Pilate ruled by the mob, by the majority, and was wrong. Opinion polls, therefore, are not the way to run a country or a kingdom.
The wrong gate is wide, on the broad way, it leads to destruction, and many go in it. Contrary to popular opinion, then, there are more people that go to hell than go to heaven.
The right gate is strait, on the narrow way, it leads to life, and few go in. Contrary to popular opinion, God is very exclusive as to who he will let into heaven (Jn 14:6). This passage precedes John 14:6, but shows that the idea that all religions get there is an idea that is wrong.
Then where does the ecumenical movement lead? It leads to destruction.