They usually traveled in packs and were very dangerous. To call someone a "dog" in the first century was the lowest insult. As they say in Texas, "Them is fightin' words. The only thing worse than being called a "dog" was to be called a "pig. Under the dietary laws given by God for Israel, the pig was a forbidden, unclean animal. It was common for first-century Jews to refer to Gentiles as swine because they considered them unclean. Let's look to Jennifer, 10, for more light on what Jesus meant: "Jesus said don't give your pearls to a pig because a pig is too dumb to understand what a pearl is worth.
Spiritual dumbness has nothing to do with one's IQ. You can be a certified genius yet be dumb as a rock in spiritual matters. But the warning here involves more than spiritual dumbness as in pigs trampling underfoot valuable pearls. There's a parallel thought at the end of the verse that refers back to the dogs. What is this holy thing that causes dogs to turn on you and tear you to pieces? For the answer, we turn to Sarah, "Don't try to give the gospel to people who have already rejected it. This could be called the General Patton strategy for spreading the good news.
Instead of going through fortifications, Patton's tank commanders went around them. Jesus spoke of religious leaders who were offended by what he said: "Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch" Matthew Think about this: The pearl of great value in the Gospel of Matthew is the Messianic king and kingdom foretold by the ancient prophets. Ask this question: Then and now, some see Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah and trust him as their savior, while others mock and scornfully reject him.
Which will you do? Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted. To find out more about Carey Kinsolving and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www. On this occasion Jesus is more than three days from Jerusalem when he's going to be crucified and yet he's, he's using this language. He's saying today and tomorrow I must cast out demons and the third day I reach my goal. And I think there's a clear, in, in - a reference there - a clear illusion to the, the crucifixion and then the, the raising three days later, later.
So these are riddles that Jesus tossed out for people I think to think about and contemplate. So the next one is paradox. And there Jesus says -. But it is not so among you. Whoever wishes to become great among you, shall be your servant and whoever wishes to be first among you, shall be slave of all.
Paradoxes are almost counterintuitive. In, in this instance if you want greatness seek to be the slave of all. Seek to be a servant. If you want to be the lowest of all, seek your own greatness. The - these are all over the bible of God honors the humble but he abases the proud. The - God raises us up and he puts down. The - we seek paradoxes everywhere. Another paradox Mark and There Jesus sits down opposite the treasury and he begins to observe how the multitude was putting money into the treasury and many rich people were putting in large sums.
And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins and calling to his disciples, he said to them, I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of the rich people. And there, again, this is counterintuitive but it's, it's almost as though Jesus is speaking as one who knows the upside kingdom that he is inaugurating.
So these are paradoxes. And what he's communicating is that the, the eschatological age that will be inaugurated upon the glorification of Jesus is, is of such a quality, that those who participate in it, those who know the, the, the fully revealed plan of salvation that, that, that culminates in the crucifixion and the resurrection of, of Jesus - those who know that are, by their very nature, greater than those who, who lived before the - before that age when all of this had been revealed. If you disagree with my interpretation that's fine. Eat your own fruit. But think about it and try to figure out what Jesus means, how it can be that among those born of women there's none greater than John the Baptist, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
I don't think he's talking about angels.
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I think he's talking about people that live on this side of the cross. So, another one is Matthew and And I think that we should - to, to understand - to appreciate the significance of a statement like this you have to know something of the background. The Pharisees would be viewed as the most honored, most respected, most holy people in the society. And so for Jesus to be exposing them as frauds would be striking.
It would be shocking. So for him to say outside you're clean but inside you're dirty is - it would seem counterintuitive to his hearers. Lastly, on this page, is something called [foreign], this is a Latin phrase that means from the stronger. The Hebrew for it, or the Aramaic, I'm not sure, is [foreign] and [foreign], if you know - if you've taken Hebrew [foreign] is the light stem because it doesn't have the, the prefixes and suffixes like the other stems have. So [foreign] is light, [foreign] is heavy.
Light and heavy. And what's going on here, for instance in Matt-, Matthew through 30 it's an argument from the lesser to the greater. Observe how the Lilies of the field grow. They don't toil or spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon and all his glory was not clothed as these are. So this is an argument from the lesser, flowers to the greater, the worth of human beings.
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All right. You've got the references there. The next literary form or device that Jesus employed were rhetorical questions. And we all, we all know what a rhetorical question is. It's a question used to make a point that no one intends - no one who asked the question intends for it to be answered or responded to.
It's - the, the statement is to make a point. Are you so lacking in understanding? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him because it does not go into his heart but into his stomach and then - is then eliminated. Peter didn't get this until the Lord lowered the sheet down three times for him and then finally said, don't call unclean what I have declared clean.
I think that's when Peter probably remembered, maybe, or as he thought about it later, this instance, during the ministry of Jesus, when he declared all foods clean. So this is a rhetorical question. Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation. Those are pretty clear. The counter questions. Jesus often refutes his opponents with counter questions. Why does this man speak that way? He was blasphemy. Who can forgive sins but God alone?
And here's the counter question. To say to the para-, paralytic your sins are forgiven or to say arise and take up your pallet and walk? And then he heals the paralytic so that he stands up and walks. Another good example of this, this counter question, is Mark - I think it's through I think this is the encounter about John the Baptist. Mark through And he responds I'll answer that question if you'll answer me one. Who gave John the Baptist his authority? And he, he confounds them. They have no response. They had nothing to say because they know if we say John the Baptist was a fraud, the people will leave us.
We will lose their allegiance. But they also know that if they say we believe John the Baptist was real, Jesus is going to respond, why didn't you believe in him? Why didn't you repent? So here's an instance where the, the intelligence of Jesus, the brilliance of our Lord, is, is - it, it reaches out and, and, and grabs the person reading this - these instances. Parabolic actions. This is not so much a li-, a literary form as it is almost a, an action.
Well obviously it is an action. Something that Jesus does to make a point. And Jesus, I think, probably wasn't fasting. And in this culture to not fast it would almost be like flaunting the [inaudible], Pharisaic requirements for daily life. Jesus is not fasting to make a point.
The point being the kingdom has come. We don't fast in the kingdom. We don't fast in the present, in the celebration that ensues upon the coming of the king. So that's a parabolic action. Mark and 19, that's where Jesus selects the 12 disciples. He picked 12 as a deliberate, deliberate correspondence to the 12 tribes of Israel. And it's almost as though he is reconstituting the nation of Israel in selecting these 12 men who would be with him whom he named apostles.
So parabolic actions of Jesus. Another one is in Mark through There are other references here where Jesus curse the fig tree. And this is right in the context of him going in and cleansing the temple and it's, it's acknowledged by all interpreters that in cursing the fig tree and what he says to the fig tree, you're going to be dried up and no more fruit is going to come from you. The cursing of the fig, fig tree matches the cleansing of the temple. And what he has said to the fig tree he is, in effect, said to the, the Jewish religious leaders.
So those are parabolic actions that we see of Jesus. These types of parallelism not only apply in the things that Jesus says, they also apply in the proverbs and often in the psalms. So as, as we go through these, these types of parallelism, parallelism I would encourage you to, to get it in your mind, get it straight in your mind, what each one of these things are and watch for it and think about it as you read the psalms and the proverbs. So the first one is called synonymous parallelism.
And what happens here is the, the first line makes a statement and the second line echoes that statement in different words. It says the same thing over in different words, thus synonym. Synonymous parallelism.
An example, Mark and Another example is Mark - um, I'm sorry. Matthew and Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. May your kingdom come, may your will be done, may your name be honored. Another example is Matthew and 8. Same thing is being stated over and over and over again. And you see this all over the place in psalms and proverbs. Another, another form is antithetical parallelism. And this is where the point is made by making a statement and then in the next line, saying the opposite.
The kind of tree you are will be seen in the kind of fruit you bare. But the way that that point is made is by saying, a good tree bares good fruit and then saying the opposite in the next line. But a bad tree bares bad fruit.
Matthew - Wikipedia
This is antithetical parallelism. Another example is Luke He was unrighteous in a very little thing, will be unrighteous also in much. So the same point is being made. What you do with little things is what you're going to do with big things. But Jesus makes that point by stating first faithfulness and then it's, it's opposites. It's opposite, unrighteousness. Antithetical parallelism. The next one is step parallelism. Mark Not only have you received the child in my name you've received me next.
Whoever receives me, does not receive me but him who sent me. With each development Jesus is, is walking up the ladder, so to speak. Thus step parallelism. Another words he, he was what it pointed to once he came, there's no more need to fulfill it so it's - it is abolished. But he did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Matthew is an - and again these things require thought so think about them.
So in this step parallelism we're walking up the ladder, so to speak. We're, we're stepping up. Next one, and lastly, is chiasmic parallelism. This is the the Greek letter chi, right? So in chiasmic parallelism what we do is we start with A and we go in here to B and then we come back down with A prime or something like that. So it mirrors this. You see that?