Things New And Old

Matthew 13:44-52

 

44The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in the field; which a man found, and hid; and in his joy he goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a merchant seeking goodly pearls: 46and having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it. 47Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach; and they sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but the bad they cast away. 49So shall it be in the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the righteous, 50and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. 51 Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea. 52And he said unto them, Therefore every scribe who hath been made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

 

Jesus had been instructing His disciples in the mysteries of the kingdom, at the close He declared unto them the purpose thereof: “And he said unto them, Therefore every scribe who hath been made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old. “ Matthew 13:52

 

He had not been instructing them merely for their own spirituality,  There was a definite purpose and value in all that He had been speaking to them.  Do you understand the meaning of My words, have you caught any vision through these pictures that I have presented to your with view to the kingdom?"

 

I am always astonished when I read their answer;  They say unto him, Yea, Lord.”  I am all the more astonished that He did not rebuke them.  He was wonderfully patient with them when they thought  they understand  His words and deeds.  He knew however that they had at least seen the broad outline, and He knew also, that presently He would ascend to His Father, then, the Holy Spirit of truth should come, Whom said He:  the Father will send in my name           John 14:26

He stated to them in John 16:12-15

12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.        

 

Therefore, even though as yet they certainly did not perfectly understand, as subsequent behavior demonstrates, but there was a purpose behind this particular series of parables, lessons  Jesus wished to impress upon His disciples.

 

In order to appreciate these lessons some back ground is in order to see the context.   Beginning back at the first in Matthew 13:1-2 we read —  On that day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 2And there were gathered unto him great multitudes, so that he entered into a boat, and sat; and all the multitude stood on the beach. 3And he spoke to them many things in parables”, 

 

The word parable comes to us from the Greek word  parabolh parabolĕ the meaning to lay along side of. In this chapter Jesus will present truths of the kingdom that He is to establish by presenting these in the likeness of something else.  When Nathan wanted to call David's attention to his sins, they were presented to him in the form of the parable of the ewe lamb. Jesus in presenting the kingdom in the different parables stressed the many message that he wanted them to learn.   Jesus now gives us a series of  parables—

 

The parable of the Sower, where the kingdom is in some way likened unto one who sows seeds, the seed is pictured as falling into different kinds of grounds. This parable is explained for us— (vv 18-23)  The preaching of the word is likened to a man sowing seed, the different soils represent hearts into which the word falls. only one soil, one heart is receptive and productive.

 

The next parable is that of the parable of tares Matt13:24-30,  followed by the parable of the mustard seed  (31-32 )and the parable of the leavened  (33).  The design of each of the parables was to focus in on some aspect of the kingdom or church. Jesus is teaching spiritual truths by presenting literal things

 

Our text presents four short parables  Matthew 13:44-52   Look at them with me! 

In Matt 13:44 Jesus says

44The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in the field; which a man found, and hid; and in his joy he goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

 

I see this parable as teaching that Christ’s church is somehow like a hidden treasure,  the parable presents a man searching as through a field and there finding the treasure....  Then what?  Selling all that he has in order to obtain this field.  Christ’s church His kingdom is the great treasure. These are presented to us in the scriptures. The Lord Himself taught —

39Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.   John 5:39

 

Once we discover our Savior, and  His eternal kingdom,  what then?  I must as the man  of the parables, make the  sacrifice, give up all and follow Him.  Jesus declared in Matthew 10:37-38 “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me”.

   

The next parable  is the pearl of great price —  Matt 13:45-46

45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a merchant seeking goodly pearls: 46and having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

 

The purpose of this parable is the same as the one previous. A thing doubled is intensified. Christ’s church is the great pearl. Give up everything to follow Him, and be apart of His eternal kingdom..  Next the parable of the Net Matthew 13:47-50

47Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach; and they sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but the bad they cast away. 49So shall it be in the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the righteous, 50and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth..

 

In this,  Jesus presents His disciples as fishers, When He called them, His words were. "Come, follow Me, and I'll make you fishers of men."  This great net catches much that is desired. The gospel does the same. There is in the church  a great deal caught in the net, undesired, rubbish, trash, But it will be sorted in the judgment.

 

Jesus next, follows these parables by asking the disciples verse 51 “Have ye understood all these things? “They say unto him, "Yea, Lord.”  He now reveals the purpose of His teachings  "Every Scribe"  and we are astonished by this for it is an interesting thing that Jesus uses this word here of His disciples.   "Every Scribe"  

 

Well what is a scribe?  In the days of our Lord a scribe was one who was an interpreter and teacher of the law. The office of the scribe was created by Ezra, who in the 6th century BC was sent by the Persian King to instruct, and guide the inhabitants of Judaea.  Ezra's glory, even above his priesthood, was that "he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses which the Lord God of Israel had given," and "had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments" (Ezra 7:6,10,12 ). So the office had been created by Ezra and had continued from his time. The scribes in the days of Jesus were in opposition to Him, but their office was that of moral interpretation, and teacher  of the Law,  and  Christ uses this word, thus appropriating the office on behalf of His disciples for all the coming ages  

 

Now watch as Christ makes the application and give us the reason for this series of parables   “Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord”

 

First, there can be no teaching no instructing in the Kingdom of God until the man himself is a disciple, and has been instructed in the principles of that great kingdom.  We like Ezra must " prepare  our own  heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach it."  Let all this be taken for granted, what then? What is the responsibility that rests upon the instructed scribe?   Therefore every scribe who hath been made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

 

In this passage we have one of the smallest  of the parables as to words. This parable,  is a final picture  presented to teach these men the value of the pictures committed to them in these parables.  What were the pictures?   Their work had been outlined for them in these parables . Christ is a wonderful treasure,   He may be found of those who search for him —  Hence take the Word of God, preach it present Him to a dying world. Those that find the treasure must go to any extreme to secure the Word in their hearts.

 

Look at the order of them.  From our text the parables of the hidden treasure, parable of the tares, ( gospel is something of great value) Then the parable of the net, which really emphasizes that we are to preach, Christ will give the final separation of the results on the day of judgment. It is no mere accident that this parable should follow the preceding three. The picture is that of a wealthy householder meeting the necessity of all those who are in his household, but scattering to them his treasures.

 

Now what is the message of the parable?  Just this,  Christ is teaching disciples of all time, the responsibility of teaching. That is the perpetual responsibility of the Lord's church. Jesus said to the Jewish nation as His ministry was approaching its close —  Matthew 21:43 “Therefore say I unto you,  The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof”.  In that great and remarkable sentence,  Jesus transferred the responsibility for certain teaching and certain work from the Hebrew nation who had rejected God's King, to a new nation, which Peter described in 1 Peter 2:9

9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 

 

We read in 1 Timothy 3:15 that  the church is to be the pillar and ground of the truth.  That is the purpose of our calling.   But our parable teaches personal responsibility    Hear it again ¾ Matthew 13:51-52

51 Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea. 52And he said unto them, Therefore every scribe who hath been made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

 

In 2 Timothy 2:1-2 the aged apostle writes to his younger son of the faith: “Thou therefore, my child, be strengthened in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2And the things which thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.  Timothy I want to bring forth out of your treasures, “things you have heard and learned of me” and teach other faithful men who shall be able to teach others.

 

My  responsibility is to teach every truth I know, as I learn more truths, teach them also.  bring forth out of your treasure things new and old.  One last word as to purpose and application—

 

The scribes of the Kingdom are to be moral interpreters and teachers to their own age. How do we accomplish this. In face of all the forces of the world we are to live  lives worthy of the gospel and bring forth things new and old.   We have been taught that we might teach others.   As we close,  Let me  remind you, that death is not a period but only a comma in the story of life, there is more that awaits man after his last sigh and beyond his last step away from this life of mortality .

 

There is a resurrection — John 5:25-29—      There is a day of Judgment  2 Cor. 5:10  And an eternity in heaven or hell    Matthew 25:31-46.   Such being true, Christians should be motivated to do the very best they can.....   And those who are not children of God should be motivated to become so....

 

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Ron Cope Minister churches of Christ

email:  RonCope@chestnutmtchurchofchrist.com

phone:  (678)617-9658