Managing your storeroom, Matthew 13:51-52

In this section Jesus asks his disciples the very question that every person who teaches a lesson, preaches a sermon, or writes a Study Guide (!) would like to ask you when it is finished: Do you understand all these things?
It is a serious question. Has it occurred to you that, if Jesus were actually standing beside you, he would ask you that question?

Matthew 13:51-52

51 Have you understood all these things? Jesus asked. Yes, they replied. 52 He said to them, Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.

Commentary

As Matthew brings this major discourse section of his Gospel to a close, he shows us its surprising conclusion. The first surprise is that Jesus inquires about whether the disciples understand what he has said, and they say yes (verse 51). Just yes. Probably I am wrong to feel surprised. After all, Jesus himself has been teaching them about the kingdom, and we have probably been shown just a fraction of what he taught them. Since Jesus expresses no qualms about their answer, it is time to reflect on the impact of these who understand his message.

In verse 52, Jesus builds on their response, calling them scribes who have been trained for the kingdom of heaven. The italicized word is another surprise. France calls them authorized teachers for the kingdom of heaven, in contrast with the Pharisaic scribes who have failed to grasp its message.[1]In essence, the other scribes, the ones who have proven that they cannot see and cannot hear, have been disqualified from interpreting the rulership of God brought by Jesus.

Jesus builds on this new state of affairs by offering a final similitude in verse 52b. These kingdom scribes are like the master of a house whose storeroom holds new treasures as well as old. The kingdom scribes are the people who will give their lives in the process of helping others find and follow Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 23:34). Only they can explain the kingdom truths hidden from the beginning, but now revealed.
What are the implications of this passage for revealing to you the importance of teaching and learning about Jesus and the rule of God?

Copyright 2017 Barry Applewhite, Plano, Texas. All rights reserved worldwide. Materials originally prepared for Christ Fellowship, McKinney, Texas. Used by permission.

[1] R.T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007), 546.

Do you have an opinion or a different interpretation? Let me know!