Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 13:47-52.
Then he said unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old (Matthew 13:52).
Having completed his parabolic teaching in Matthew 13, Christ asks his disciples, “Have ye understood all these things?” (v. 51).
Every good teacher knows that after you’ve given the lessons, there needs to be some instrument of evaluation. Textbooks often provide summary questions at the close of each chapter to test comprehension. Christ is probing, examining, evaluating his disciples.
Matthew reports, “They say unto him, yea Lord” (v. 51). But did they really? Probably not. The witness of the Gospels is that the disciples did not really begin to understand all things till after the cross and resurrection (see, e.g., John 2:18-22).
Christ then says that every scribe instructed (literally, discipled) “unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man who is a householder…” (v. 52).
There are several things of interest here.
To begin with, Christ compares his disciples to “scribes.” This is a rare positive use of the word scribe (grammateus). Usually, the scribes and the Pharisees are jointly listed as the chief enemies of our Lord. The Jewish scribes were experts in the law and responsible for the proper transmission of the Scriptures. Christ says here that his disciples are to be like Christian scribes, discipled in the ways of the kingdom in order properly to handle and divide God’s word and pass it on to others.
For another thing, Christ offers here yet another parable. Christian “scribes” are like a householder who brings forth of his treasure things new and old. What does this mean? Mature disciples will be able to bring forth all the things they have learned from Christ in the past alongside all the new things they are continuing to learn from him.
Spurgeon takes it as a general Christian duty: "What we understand we must teach. What we have received into our treasure we must bring forth. If the Lord has instructed us unto his kingdom, it is for the sake of others."
So, the student of Christ has learned Christ, but he is also always learning more about Christ. He never tires of adding more to the store of his knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and he never tires of sharing what he has received with others for their edification.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle
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