Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dog Food

A videotape was being advertised. A televangelist whose immoral conduct had shamed Christ's name was being mercilessly lampooned. With the razor of ridicule his character was being slashed and cut down.

Matthew 7:6 came to mind. Some commentators interpret this puzzling verse to mean that the gospel should not be preached to scoffers. But that video offer made a different understanding of the text come alive to me.

In his book What Jesus Said About Successful Hidden Robins says that Matthew 7:6 explains why Jesus told the disciples to pray, "Deliver us from the evil one" (6:13). One of Satan's strategies is to engineer the downfall of believers and then ridicule them so that unbelievers will not take Christ seriously. Robinson writes, "If we turn our back on our commitment to Christ and dishonor Him, the world outside will be like a pack of ravenous dogs -. .. that will tear us apart." The "pearls" and "what is holy." therefore, can refer to our Christian testimony.

That interpretation of Matthew 7:6 makes sense to me and helps me to understand the verses that follow. We must continually ask, seek, and knock (vv.7-8) for the help Jesus promises. Then we won't become food for the dogs. -DJD

Lord, may I live that all may see
The love of Christ revealed in me;
And help me flee all sin and shame,
Lest others scoff at Your dear name


No comments: