Matthew 7 & 1 Corinthians 12: Jesse Dornfeld
Matthew 7 & 1 Corinthians 12
Hello again! I made a poll on Twitter asking my followers if they would like me to continue with Matthew 7 or move on to something else, that being me writing something about 1 Corinthians 12. Well, God's providence must be with me because as I started looking at how I could blend these two passages between Matthew 7 and 1 Corinthians 12 it appeared very shortly after looking that there was indeed a link between these two chapters. A text that I personally have not heard preached on very often is Matthew 7:6. Matthew 7:6 "Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you." What is Jesus getting at? Looking at one of my commentaries, it says Jesus was quoting Exodus 22:31. Exodus 22:31 “You shall be consecrated to me. Therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs." The consecrated food was for the priests only. It was considered "Holy food" that the priests ate. So you wouldn't give Holy food to dogs, basically. It would have been just as ridiculous to give something as valuable as pearls to an unclean animal, namely pigs. Given this, you might ask, "What in the world does this have to do with 1 Corinthians 12?" Well, my commentary also points to a link between Matthew 7:6 and 1 Corinthians 2:13. 1 Corinthians 2:13 "And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." So when it comes to 1 Corinthians 12:1 we read, 1 Corinthians 12:1 "Now mconcerning1 spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed." (This was the exact verse I was planning on writing on if the poll showed 1 Corinthians 12 to be the winner of the poll. I said I was going to write on 1 Corinthians 12 but added in parentheses "probably not what you think.") Paul is showing the Corinthians an honor by sharing Spiritual or Holy truths with the church at Corinth. Why does Paul give the Corinthians this information? Paul explain in a series of verses starting here: 1 Corinthians 3:2 "I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?" But then Paul says, 1 Corinthians 3:18 "Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, 'He catches the wise in their craftiness,' 20 and again, 'The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.' 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s." So we get a hint here that Paul is working up to tell them some things that are very important and he is preparing their ears for it. Paul also says, 1 Corinthians 4:7 "For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? 8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you!" Continuing, 1 Corinthians 4:14 "I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children." Ah, so that is why Paul gives them the list that he does in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. Here is the list given in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 for context: 1 Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually has he wills." So it is Paul looking at these Corinthians as a father looks at his son. As it is spoken by our Lord: Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him ca stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Paul would have been familiar with Jesus teachings. The more interesting application here is when we would date Matthew and 1 Corinthians based on the data I have provided of associations between the two book. If Paul is taking information from Matthew, like I suggest, then that would date the book of Matthew before 1 Corinthians, which is not in line with the consensus view of when these books were written. Scholars date Matthew at 80-90 AD while 1 Corinthians is usually dated between 53-57 AD.
Beyond the dating, I hope you will see that there is a rich association here between different books of the Bible that you need only dig to find. Blessings. Until next time.
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