Sitting on the hillside Jesus continues to masterfully teach his disciples and other listeners that they might be prepared for the work of the kingdom. Solomon gave principles but not necessarily the “why” nor an illustration but Jesus moves to the higher level by giving a principle, followed by its biblical truth and lastly illustrates it from life. We would be wise to heed and to do much like James reminds us in his letter: “be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves.” Living out is the demonstrative action to prove to not only others but to ourselves of the truth that lies within us.
Pigs and Pearls: Do not judge as God would for eternal judgment belongs to him alone. However, we are to be discerning regarding truth and error. [see Heb 5] Jesus uses the illustration to reveal the crux of the matter: As we share the holy Word of God is it falling upon hearts that are tender (they get the pearls, the truths of God) or hearts that mock (these are the pigs who grovel in the garbage)?
Fish and Snakes: To illustrate the principle of prayer and gifts, Jesus uses the illustration of Fish and Snakes, earthly parents vs the Heavenly Father. If we want wisdom and answers to our questions, then we must like James says “ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.” But, there is a catch: one must ask without doubting for he that doubts is just like the waves of the sea ebbing and flowing back and forth.
In a nutshell this chapter teaches us that we are to be wise [as serpents, harmless as doves] yet we are to take heed, consider before judging another but instead err on the side of mercy, “if a person is discovered in some sin, [pray for them] and seek restoration in a spirit of gentleness:”[Gal 6], seek wisdom and discernment from God, treat others the way you would want to be treated.