Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” Matthew 13:51-52
In Matthew 13, Matthew records a string of kingdom parables: “The kingdom of God is like….”
Afterwards he asks the disciples if they understand. They respond in the affirmative.
Then Jesus tells them the truth stated above in verse 51-52.
A scribe is a person who has been well versed in Scripture. The treasure is the truth and wisdom that is accumulated over time as one is instructed in the Word of God, which is what one has to give to others.
One of the first grad courses I had was taught by Howard Hendricks called Bible Study Methods. “The Prof” was passionate in his class and the Spirit lit a fire in me. I was set on a course of being systematically immersed in the Word. Over the next 6 years, I studied every book of the Bible, one book a month. The Lord was building a treasure in me that I was unaware of.
But he then shifted in me the way I engaged the Word, from an analytical method to a more reflective method. Both are essential, both are needed. The danger of analytical only is that it can leave one with mere head knowledge, which can lead to pride (1 Corinthians 8:1). The danger of only relying upon reflective method is that one is ungrounded in solid biblical theology and lacking a firm grasp of the expanse of the entire Bible.
We need both: grounded biblical knowledge and an expanding love for the God of the Word. Both are graces from the Spirit.
.The invitation to each of us is that every day of our lives, day after day for as much time as we can afford, we are in the Word. Reading, studying, meditating, praying, listening – all the while the Spirit is accumulating a treasure within our hearts.
In the book Embracing Contemplation (edited by John Coe and Kyle Strobel), Steve Porter quotes the following:
There is, as John Calvin puts it, an “indissoluble union” of God’s person and the written
word….. Robert L. Saucy helpfully summarizes: Thus we are not simply reading the words of God in the Scriptures. We are encountering and incorporating the living Word himself. The Scriptures give us life and healing because they give us Christ, the living personal Word of God, and all that he is for us. Both Scripture and Christ are living and active. . . . By continually consuming the Word we are nourishing ourselves through communion with Christ. We taste the goodness of the Lord himself (1 Pet 2:2).*
To not be in the Word is to lack being nourished by the person of Jesus and to remain immature in our relationship with him. This is the exact warning in Hebrews 5:12-6:1:
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity….“
How is your feeding on Christ through his word? Are you meeting the Living Word in the Written Word daily?
What is the state of your treasury? This is the treasure we draw from for our daily lives and in our care of others.
Principle: Feed on Christ first, then give from that to others.
Do not give into the lies that its too late or I don’t know how or I am too busy. Find someone who will mentor you and above all else pray for the Spirit to lead you into all truth. He is the one who opens our eyes and ears and hearts and minds to receive the Truth.
*Embracing Contemplation (p. 146). InterVarsity Press. Emphasis mine.