GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
THINGS NEW AND OLD
By Keith L. Estes
Jesus had been telling his disciples about the Kingdom of God, using parables. He spoke of The Sower, The Wheat and Tares, The Mustard Seed, The Leaven, The Hidden Treasure, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Dragnet. After he was through he asked them, “Have ye understood all these things?” They say unto him, “Yea, Lord.”
Had they really understood all of these parables of the Kingdom? Theologians still debate these matters. It was because of their answer that Jesus recognized that they were claiming more insight than they actually possessed, so he told his next parable. “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
Householders were what we would call heads of households, persons with authority over what went on in a given home. If one were to visit the home, the master of the house might bring out some of the treasures of the home to delight and impress his guest. He might bring our something old-perhaps one of the family heirlooms- or something new-maybe a recent purchase.
Jesus likened his disciples to heads of the family in possession of his truth. Over the years they would tell people about the “old treasures”-the basics of the gospel-and about “new treasures”-the way in which his teaching applied to new situations. In effect, they would be like “scribes instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven.”
To become a scribe required constant study, often beginning at age fourteen and continuing to the age of forty. Scribes were a learned class of scholars who studied the Scriptures and served as copyists, editors, and teachers. They occupied a prestigious position, as only ordained teachers could transmit and create religious tradition. Just as the Jewish scribes studied the Law, recalling old truths recognized for centuries as well as “new” truths that applied Scripture to the demands of new situations, so the disciples were storing up Jesus’ teaching and-someday-would repeat it to others, write it down, and teach from it, passing on “things new and old.”
Today, as we confront situations, we can look back to the “old” truths, the fundamental things that never change, and we can also discern how to apply biblical truth to new issues in ways that are fresh and alive.
Oswald Chambers writes, “A Christian worker has to learn how to be God’s man or woman of great worth and excellence in the midst of a multitude of meager and worthless things. All of God’s people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose He has given them.”
References: Matthew 13:51. KJV. The Word In Life Study Bible; Thomas Nelson Publishers; My Utmost For His Highness by Oswald Chambers.