Vol. 12 No. 3 March 2010
D. Gene West
When Jesus finished His explanation of the Parable of the Tares and had given His disciples three more parables, the last of which was the Parable of the Dragnet, the Bible records in the 13th chapter of Matthew that He asked His disciples the important question, “Have you understood all these things”? The disciples answered in the affirmative! Matthew recorded, “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”(Matthew 13:52). In this statement Jesus talked about two important classes of people, scribes and householders. These two classes of people could possibly be the same person, but a scribe by strict definition, was a man who made his living making copies of the Law of Moses. However, Jesus is using the term in a more general sense in this passage and refers to those who taught as scribes, because that is another thing scribes often did. Hence, He has reference there to His own apostles, prophets and evangelists who would be teaching His Gospel to the world. We know this because He referred to them as being “instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven.” Hence, Christ spoke of something that would be expected of His “scribes” when they went out to preach His Gospel to the Jews and Gentiles.
Then, He likened every “scribe” to a householder. His reference here is to one who was an owner and manager of property, as well as head over a family. In this man’s possession were many valuable possessions, or treasures, as Jesus called them. When the householder extended hospitality to those around him, he brought out many of his treasures, some of which were old and some were new. Jesus here spoke of the teaching that would be done by His apostles, prophets, evangelists and elders in the church. They would present treasures that were new. Here our Lord had reference to their teaching things that had never been taught or clarified in former times. These were the things Jesus spoke of when he told His apostles that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth and tell them things to come (John 16:13). He would reveal to them all they were unable to absorb and appreciate while Jesus was with them teaching daily. Not only so, but the Holy Spirit would bring to their minds all the things the Lord had taught them while he was with them (John 14:26). Many of the things these “householders” received from the Spirit and revealed to those to whom they preached would be new—things the world had never known before, things of which the Old Testament Prophets had not spoken.
However, new things would not be the sum and substance of their teachings. Many of the truths they would pull out of the treasures to present to the world would be antique, that is old, some very old. They would speak truth that the prophets before them had spoken, and not fully understood. However, with every revelation from Christ would come an ever deepening appreciation for the words of the old prophets. One reason this would be true would be that the apostles would teach the very things that were the fulfillment of the prophets. The prophets wondered when these things would come to pass (1 Peter 1:10-12), and the apostles would see them come to pass! What a thrilling time to have lived in the world! The treasure trove of wisdom to be taught to the world to bring about the redemption of mankind, that is, the Gospel of Christ itself would be a chest of new gems, freshly cut and being set for the first time and one of old gems, whose beauty and radiance had been gleaming down through the ages.
This wisdom was neither from the world nor taught by the world. It was the glorious wisdom of God known as the Gospel. Brethren, we still look upon its resplendent and magnificent glory.