Salvation by invitation


“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.” Matthew 7:6-7

Jesus does not force His way into anyone’s life. He puts value on our free will. He treats each person with dignity, even those who reject Him. The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike.

Just think about that a minute. The God who made us is asking if we would like to have a relationship with Him. The God who made us — who could just as easily snuff out our lives by shuffling His feet (the earth is His footstool) — has issued a challenge for us to seek out a relationship with Him. He invites us to ask, seek and knock.

That’s why in this strange passage from the Sermon on the Mount, He advises us not to give dogs what is sacred or cast our pearls to pigs because He isn’t doing that. Instead of throwing His truth out there for any old dog or pig to get, He invites us, straight up, to come and find it. Oh it’s out there, all right, it’s just hidden. Those who don’t want it, won’t find it; those who do, will. This is why He issues an invitation. You have questions? Ask. You want to know? Seek. You want a response? Knock.

Dogs and pigs are not seeking truth; they’re not wrestling with any big questions. But people are. People who care want to know. They struggle with things. They have questions. If there is a God, who is He; where is He; what is He like? God welcomes these questions. He wants interaction. This is a God who physically wrestled with Jacob, let him win, and granted him what he wanted, though He did leave him with a limp so he would never forget the experience. And I can’t help but think that God loved the whole encounter. He created us for this. This is why we are like Him — in His image — so we can communicate; so we can be in relationship with God.

And this process goes on throughout our lives. It’s not just to get us into a relationship, it’s the way the relationship works. The New Living Translation has it right: “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” The verbs are in the Greek aorist tense which indicate continual action. This is the asking, seeking, knocking way of life. This is for you and me; not for dogs and pigs.

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2 Responses to Salvation by invitation

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Great read! TY Pastor John… ❤

  2. I think a point of caution may need to be considered here:
    Are any of us in a position to decide who is a dog or a pig?
    If we start writing others off because we don’t believe they’re worthy to receive our “sacred” services or “pearls of wisdom” then we become pharisaical in our view toward those who – for now – decline God’s offer to ask, seek, knock… and, ultimately, find.

    As the Canaanite woman said to Jesus, “… Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.” (Matthew 15:27)

    I thank God for His good people who, despite my foul stench and ear-splitting squealing, patiently rescued me from the comfort of my pig sty.

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