Old and New Treasure

close up of coins on table

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Reading the Word

Matthew 13:51–52 (ESV)

51 “Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.” 52 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.”

Understanding and Applying the Word

The disciples went to Jesus in Matthew 13:36 and asked him to explain the Parable of the Weeds. He explained the parable to them and then told them three more shorts ones. After this he asked his disciples, “Have you understood all of these things?” They replied that they had. Jesus then called his disciples “scribes” who had been trained for the kingdom of heaven.

A scribe was an expert in the Old Testament Scriptures. Jesus often condemned the scribes of his day for not understanding the word of God. These verses tell us that Jesus was training up a new group of scribes who would truly know how to interpret the Scriptures to the people. These new scribes, Jesus’ disciples, would be able to teach both what was already written in the Old Testament and also the new teaching of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament and they would be able to explain how it all held together.

The Bible is one grand story of the redemption of mankind from sin. The Old Testament Scriptures point forward to Jesus coming into the world as the Messiah and Savior of all. The New Testament was written to reflect back on how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament promises and also the things Jesus said and did, especially the crucifixion and resurrection. We cannot read the Bible and understand it if we do not read it with our eyes fixed on Jesus.

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What Do You Value?

Matthew 1344 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Matthew 13:44–46 (ESV)

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Understanding and Applying the Word

As Jesus continues to teach in parables, he tells his disciples that the kingdom of heaven is like treasure that a man finds in a field. The man hides the treasure and sells everything he has so he can buy the field and obtain the treasure. In saying this, Jesus emphasizes that there is nothing that we have that is of more value than obtaining the kingdom. It is worth far more than we can sacrifice or give up in order to belong to it.

Jesus goes on to compare the kingdom to a fine pearl that a merchant finds. When he found it, he sold all he had so he could purchase it. Again, Jesus emphasizes the surpassing worth of the kingdom. It is worth far more than anything we can give up for it.

In these parables, Jesus is not saying that we somehow merit the kingdom by giving things up for it. He is saying that the cost of following Christ and belonging to the kingdom is worth it. Belonging to Jesus may cost us fame, fortune, friends, power, reputation, personal freedom, and even our lives. If we understand the surpassing value of the kingdom of heaven, whatever losses we may suffer will pale in comparison. Do you value the kingdom more than anything else?

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