Wisdom in Giving and Receiving

(Click here to listen to full version. Outline is below.)

Today we are looking at one of the most misinterpreted passages in Jesus’ teachings, and one of the most simple to understand. The Sermon on the Mount is a rich mine of guidance for us, and sometimes we have to dig a bit deeper to understand exactly what Jesus was referring to. In today’s text we will need to do a little bit of unpacking of the cultural context to understand what it means to be wise with all of the gifts we have to offer, even as we pattern ourselves after the giver of all good and perfect gifts. In other words we need the Holy Spirit to guide us in our understanding.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:6-12

  • Pigs, feral dogs, Roman soldiers and Jewish collaborators. Be careful with the gifts you have to give so that they are most effectively employed.
  • Prosperity gospel, context of seeking first kingdom. Kingdom is priority for Christian living, not personal prosperity. Gifts are given in excess so that we may become givers ourselves. Not just money.
  • Law is summed up in treating others with same consideration and generosity we would like to receive.

 

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