By Pastor John Mateos Ong and Pastora Monique Lopez Ong
In Matthew 13, Jesus talks about the kingdom of heaven in 7 parables. These were the hardest to interpret yet the ones needed most to be understood. If you are wondering why it took Jesus 7 parables to talk about the kingdom, this is because:
1.It is very difficult to get the world out of man and the kingdom inside him
2.The kingdom of heaven is very important that it has to be reiterated again and again
3.Each parable had a different application
Matthew 13:52 says, “Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
Before Jesus told the disciples of the 7th parable, He asked them, “Have you understood all these things?”, pertaining to the first 6 kingdom parables. When they said yes, He told them of the 7th right away.
It is a conclusion of the kingdom parables.
Jesus tells you that if you understand the other parables, then this is what you need to be and need to do.
He said you are the scribes of the kingdom.
You need to be instructed.
Your work is to bring out the old and new treasure.
So what do these things represent?
Scribe = believers who understand the things of the kingdom of God
House = Church
New & Old Treasure = Word of God
What does new and old mean in this verse?
People always like new things and oftentimes throw away the old. In this verse and in this case, treasures can be both old and new. If you understand the kingdom of God, then you will be like the scribe who studies the word and brings it out in its entirety. Many people are selective in the verses that they like and study. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” When they read the words “rightly dividing,” they think it proper to divide the Bible and simply keep the things that rightly apply to themselves. This is not what it means. Your basis for doing this is going to be very subjective. Paul was actually using the latter as a construction term meaning you have to cut it straight so that you can see if you are really obeying it. Look at your life and the Bible and check if they are parallel to each other. The Bible was written for you but not all the verses are directed towards you, which is why in 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul says that “All scripture is God breathed.” He did not say some, he said all. You probably have your favorites but please do not fail to read the rest of it. The genealogies alone may be irrelevant and boring to you but if you put them together with other parts of the Bible, they mean something too. A very popular bible commentary writer once said, “As scribes (disciples), we are to understand the new insights we learn from the parables of Jesus in light of old truths and vice versa.” The new things taught by Jesus are loyal to the intent and purpose of the Old Testament. Jesus Himself said He came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it.
What are the differences between scribes and pharisees?
What does the Bible say about Scribes?
Matthew 5:20 says, “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Their righteousness was not enough. They fall short.
Mark 1:22 says, “And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” When Jesus was teaching, He had authority. When the scribes teach, there was no power. They did not teach as well as Jesus.
Matthew 23:2-3 says “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.” Jesus was very direct in saying that the scribes were all talk with no application and practice to their name.
Matthew 12:38 says, “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” They were very tricky, constantly trying to trap Jesus by asking questions and using the Word but you will not see it in their life.
Mark 7:13 says, “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down.” The scribes went over the Word by creating traditions beyond the interpretation of the Scripture. Instead of preserving it, they destroyed it through the traditions that they observed.
Isaiah 29:13 says, “Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men.’’ They are hypocrites, Jesus said.
Are you a scribe? Studying the word is not easy. It takes focus and interest. The main issue of the scribes is that they were becoming professionals at spelling out the letter of the law but they ignored the spirit behind it. This led many people astray.
Let us go back to our scripture verse and analyze it. Matthew 13:52 says, “Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.
The word therefore connects 2 ideas. Jesus asked His apostles if they understood the kingdom parables. When they said yes, then that means that you should be scribes of the kingdom. How can you do this?
1.Study the word - The work of a scribe is to study the word of God. Have you fully read the Bible from cover to cover? If you have finished the Bible, read it again for it has new revelations every time. Joshua 1:8 says “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.’ When you meditate on the word of God, you will be able to carefully obey everything that is written in the Bible.
How do you meditate on the word?
Picture it - imagine it in your head
Pronounce it - read it aloud so you can hear yourself
Paraphrase it - say it in your own words
Personalize it - ask how it applies to you
Pray it back to God
2.Submit to the word - When you treasure something, it has value and you take care of it. Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The word of God is living and active and gives you life. When you read it, it feeds your soul so that you are not spiritually malnourished. John 14:26 also says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” Sometimes, you do not understand what you read right away. You have to pray to God to give you wisdom to understand. You have to submit to the Holy Spirit for you to understand the word of God.
What do you need to look for when you read the Bible?
Sin to avoid - the word may have a warning
Promise to claim - not all promises are for you
Example to follow - stories that show you an example
3.Share the word - Your treasure is not only in the new. Like antiques which are still precious and valuable, knowledge of the word of God is a treasure. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” There is a saying that ignorance kills. If you do not know the word of God, it can destroy you and you may eventually die. The ministry of Jesus is mostly about the Word and Jesus is the Word made flesh!!! When you focus on it, healing takes place. 2 Timothy 2:2 says “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Whatever you are learning, teach it to your neighbors. That is how the gospel will reach the ends of the earth.
While there is still time, while people are still listening, while the gospel is still being preached in all the earth, while there is still not much persecution, share the word. Because there will come a time when people will lose heart and will not want to hear the Good news. They will only want to hear what they want to hear. This is Paul’s warning. Continue sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is a race wherein a runner holds onto a baton which he passes onto the next runner. Can you imagine if, after pouring your heart out into the race and giving it your best shot, upon passing the baton to the next runner, he just stands there.That is a very disdaining thought. But sometimes, that is what happens. Someone takes the risk of giving you the baton of God’s word and you do not do anything with it. Some are contented to be saved. But as scribes, you have a duty. If the baton is passed on to you, you ned to study His word and submit to the Holy Spirit. You are not the exception. You are the reason Jesus came. If you truly understand the Kingdom, then you need to study, submit to the word, and most importantly, share it to as many as you can because that is what the kingdom is all about.