Matt 13:52                             A Householder                                            12/16/2007    ßà   

 

 

 

#1.       A Man, a Scribe (Matt 13:52, 1Tim 2:12)

 

 

 

·        Who is this householder? (Matt 10:25, 6:19-21, 24)

 

 

 

#2.       “Old” Does Not Mean Old, but “First” (Matt 9:17, Rom 6:6)

 

 

 

·        The Old Testament (2Cor 3:14, Gal 3:24, 1John 2:5,7,8, Lev 19:18, Matt 22:39)

 

 

 

#3.  “New” Does Not Mean New, but “Not Used”(1John 2:8-11, Lev 19:18, John 13:34, Matt 27:60)

 

 

 

·       Summary (Matt 13:51-52)

 

 

 

#4.       The Old Covenant and the New Covenant (Gal 2:16, Ex 19:4-6, Rom 10:4, 8:3-4, John 1:13)

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 13:51 (2X). We have come to the last parable in this important chapter of Matthew. Last week we have seen how parable number 7 is a close cousin of parable number 2. The parable of the wheat and the tares, and the parable of the dragnet both clearly state the sovereignty of God in salvation. Hereby God emphasized that He will not share His glory with another, as He also stated in Isa 42:8, “I am Jehovah: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another”. God must receive 100% of the credit for our salvation, and thus He must receive all the glory. Today I am preaching on parable number 8, which is the last parable of the Lord Jesus Christ, as they are listed in this chapter 13. If we would go to the Gospel according to Mark we would find another parable there which is not listed in Matthew, but here in Matthew 13 this is the last of the eight parables that the Lord Jesus taught His disciples.

Would it not be wonderful to receive our instructions directly from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the most perfect teacher that ever lived on this earth? When we open our Bibles and we read those words, remember who is speaking!  It is God the Holy Spirit who is speaking those words unto us, and we have no lesser teacher than the disciples had when they heard the Lord Jesus speaking. In fact, we have a greater advantage than these disciples, because we have the whole Bible in our hands, whereas they had only the O.T. We have received more than they have! However, it is also a Biblical principle that: “unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48). This principle is emphasized here in this eight parable, which is called the parable of a householder. And thus the title of this sermon is simply, A Householder (2X). We read here in Matt 13:51-52,

Mt 13:51  Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things ? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.      Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe (which is) instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man (that is) an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure (things) new and old.

First the Lord Jesus asks them if they have understood all these teachings in the form of parables. Why would He ask them? Does He not know? Of course He knows. He can read their minds. The Lord Jesus is God. He knows them inside out. But these words are written for our benefit. It is as if the Lord Jesus is asking US this question. And then He says: “Therefore, since you have understood all these things, since you have soaked up all this information into your mind and into your heart, since you have understood all these mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, since you now understand how someone is saved and brought into the kingdom of heaven, you have become like a scribe who has literally been discipled into the kingdom of heaven, and you have become like an householder who has become the possessor of this large treasure of wisdom, from which you now have to give out from it as a teacher of the Scriptures, as freely as you have received it. Freely you have received, and freely you shall give” (Matt 10:8). This then also applies to the scribe, who is a householder.

#1.       A Man, a Scribe (Matt 13:52, 1Tim 2:12)

Have you ever wondered, why the Lord Jesus in verse 52 says: “a man”, and then He says “an householder”? That is a redundancy. Listen to verse 52 again. While I read this verse, I am leaving out the words in italics, which the King James translators have indicated this way to let us know that these words were not present in the original Greek text. Matt 13:52 should read as follows,

Mt 13:52  Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe (which is) instructed unto, (or literally) discipled into the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man (that is) an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure (things) new and old.

You see, the Lord Jesus could have left out “a man”, or He could have left out “an householder”. Why does the Lord Jesus say that this householder must be a man? Well, the answer is very clear if you understand the N.T. teaching that a teacher of the Scriptures, if he teaches or preaches to the congregation, must be a man!  It is primarily in this 21st century that the mainline denominations have abandoned the authority of the Word of God and have committed the abomination of appointing women as deacons and elders and pastors and preachers in the pulpit. Yes, this is an abomination. But in all the previous centuries it was not so! God says in 1Tim 2:12, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence”. And in 1Tim 3 God says that an elder as well as a deacon must be the husband of one wife. And thus women do not qualify to be elders or deacons. But today churches are copying one another in evil. We are seeing in our days the great apostacy of one church after another falling away from holding the Bible as their authority.

Let us turn again to Matt 13:52. And there we read, “every scribe”. Who is the scribe representing that the Lord Jesus is speaking about in verse 52? Why does He use this word? The scribes in Jesus’ days were people who were first of all copiers of the O.T. Scriptures. Since printing presses had not yet been invented, the O.T. scrolls had to be copied accurately by hand, by people who were capable of watching for every detail, for every jot and tittle. Therefore scribes were first of all servants to the general public and to the church, by providing accurate documents, or copies of documents for public use, and for the use by the congregation in the reading of the Scriptures. The name scribe is not a bad word. People have made it a bad word. But secondly, the scribes in Jesus’ days were people who were experts in the Scriptures, and therefore they were also appointed frequently as teachers of the Scriptures. It is in this capacity that the Lord Jesus uses the title “scribe”. Not in the sense of one who is learned in just the O.T. Scriptures, but as someone who “has understood all these things” that He referred to in verse 51. Therefore the Lord Jesus says: “If you have understood all these things pertaining to the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, you have become like a scribe, a public servant, who has been discipled into the kingdom of heaven. By the grace of God you have entered into the kingdom of heaven, and by the grace of God you have learned to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. But that is not enough. By the grace of God you also have been given the mandate, the privileged assignment, to convey to others what you have received. That is the duty and the responsibility of every scribe who has been given understanding of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. You have become a public servant, giving out what you have received. Then the Lord Jesus calls this scribe “a man, an householder, who brings forth out of his treasure, new and old”.

·        Who is this householder? (Matt 10:25, 6:19-21, 24)

Please turn to Matt chapter 10, Matt 10:25 (2X). Literally, this word for “householder” means “master of the house”. For example, this word has been used in Matt 10 where the Lord Jesus sent out His disciples two by two, as a practice run for evangelism. The Lord Jesus said in Matt 10:25,

Mt 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?      

In this verse “the master of the house” is the same word as “householder”. The Lord Jesus is calling Himself here “The master of the house”. That is an important clue! Who is this householder in this 8th parable of Matthew 13? In the first place it is the Lord Jesus Christ.        He is truly the master of the household of God. He is the chief Shepherd, we are only the undershepherds. We take our orders from Him. He is ultimately the one who determines what we can bring forth, and when we can bring forth out of our treasure. He never loses control over the household of God. In the second place this householder represents all those who have been appointed as teachers and preachers of the Word of God, and who are accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ for what they teach as the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. And when we say: “Thus saith the Lord”, we must make sure that this is indeed what the Lord has said. Then the Lord says: “An householder who bringeth forth out of his treasure”. What does this treasure represent? Please turn in your Bibles to Matt chapter 6, Matt 6:19 (2X). This treasure must contain things understood, for that is what the previous verse tells us. Certainly, this “treasure” does not refer to earthen treasures such as silver or gold. When we have received the kingdom of heaven, and we have received an understanding of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, then we have received a treasure in our heart that is infinitely greater than all earthly treasures of this world combined. But that is a treasure that we have received from God in our heart. Do we recognize this as a great treasure? Do we show our gratitude to God for this great gift? And do we show our gratitude by also laying up other treasures in heaven which are pleasing in the sight of God? The Lord Jesus described these treasures in the Sermon on the Mount, where He says in Matt

Mat 6:19-20  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:           But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Mat 6:21    For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Do we want to know where our treasure is?    Then check out where our heart’s desire is. Is it our heart’s desire to make a career? Is it our heart’s desire to buy a house, or to own a Maserati, or marry the most beautiful girl in town? Then our treasure is still on this sin cursed earth. Then our treasure is not in heaven, and we must examine ourselves to see if we truly have been saved. If there is anything on this sin cursed earth that has a higher priority in our life than Christ, then we cannot be saved. No man can serve two masters, for he will serve the one and hate the other (Matt 6:24). Then the Lord Jesus says: “An householder who bringeth forth out of his treasure, new and old.” What are these “new” things and “old” things? They are not specified! Is that not amazing? Are we totally free to choose what we want for these “new” and “old” things? And the word “things” is not in the original Greek text, which makes it even more uncertain what “new” and “old” the Lord Jesus is referring to. But is it really so uncertain?  Does not the “new” and “old” refer to what is in the treasure? And what is in the treasure? It is a treasure of wisdom pertaining to salvation. This whole chapter 13 of Matthew contains parables about secrets of the kingdom of heaven, and how man can be saved. When we study these words “new” and “old”, the remarkable thing we find is:

#2.       “Old” Does Not Mean Old, but “First” (Matt 9:17, Rom 6:6)

This word for “old” has been used 19 times in the Bible. But it does not mean old in years. Let me share with you a few examples and you will see that this word is used in most cases in the spiritual sense. Please turn in your Bibles to Matt chapter 9, Matt 9:17 (2X). We have here in Matt 9:16-17 two parables that teach the same subject matter, namely, “Ye must be born again”. One parable does that with an old and new garment; the other parable does that with an old and a new bottle, or a new vessel. Let us just take the second parable, and there in Matt 9:17 the Lord Jesus says,

Mt 9:17  Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

The new wine, represents the true Gospel of grace alone, and the vessels represent the hearts of men. Where does God put the new wine? God puts it in new vessels, not in the old vessels. It means then that when the true Gospel takes hold of a man, the old man must die and the new man must be regenerated in his stead. And so the “old vessel”, representing the old man, does not mean old in years, for people are being saved at any age. The old vessel is not old, but it is “first”, for our sinful natural self was first before we became saved. Secondly, let us now consider the “old man”. The NT speaks of the “old man”, who is not necessarily an old man. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 6:6 (2X). In this chapter of Rom 6 God teaches us that His elect children are in Christ, and are baptized, or washed, into the death of Christ. We are crucified with Christ, we died with Christ, we are buried with Christ, we are raised with Christ, and we ascended with Christ all in AD 33 when we did not exist yet, and our souls did not exist yet. But God counts it as if we were there, because in our spirit we were in Christ just like our body was in Adam. We read in Rom 6:6,

Rom 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

This verse tells us that we must have been crucified with Christ, and that we must have been born again to a new life in Christ, so that from thereon we should not serve sin, but Christ. You see, our old man is not necessarily old in years! The word “old” actually is used as if it means “first”. Our old man is the man that came into the world first, the man that was created in the image of our forefather Adam. It is our old man who came into the world as an enemy of God. It is our old man who lived in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and who was by nature under the wrath of God. This is the old man who must have died when God made us born from above.

·        The Old Testament (2Cor 3:14, Gal 3:24, 1John 2:5,7,8, Lev 19:18, Matt 22:39)

The third example is the “Old Testament”. Please turn in your Bibles to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2Cor 3:14 (2X). In this chapter God contrasts the Law with the Gospel of grace. The Law brings condemnation and death, for if we believe we can be saved by obeying the Law we are surely going to Hell. God never intended the obedience to the Law as a means of salvation. Therefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (Gal 3:24). In 2Cor 3:14 God speaks about Jews who remain unbelievers, because their mind is blinded. God says in 2Cor 3:14,

2Cor 3:14  But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

Here again, the Old Testament is not called old as being old in years. The OT is still part of our Bible; it has not ceased to exist. But it is called the OT, because it came “first”, before the NT came. The Word of God came first through the OT, for all things and all prophecies must first be in place before Christ could come and be crucified on a Roman cross. Only then could God in earnest begin to broadcast the Gospel of grace alone throughout the entire world.

The fourth example is the “old commandment”. Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle of John, 1John 2:7 (2X). The context wherein we find 1John 2:7 is that of keeping His commandments. God says in 1John 2:5, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected”. And so, the commandments of God have not expired when Christ died on the cross. God desires us to keep and obey His commandments, all the way from Gen 9 and forward. We read in 1John 2:7,

1Jo 2:7  Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

And what is that “old commandment” referring to? It refers to two things: God says, “it is the word which you have heard from the beginning”, which means it is the OT, and the verses after verse 7 speak of “loving the brethren”. And so, based on the context we can derive what that commandment is referring to. We read in Lev 19:18, “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD”. This statement, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” always was in the Bible. But it is not old, for God restates this in 1John 2:8 as a new commandment, and the Lord Jesus restates this in Matt 22:39.

Now, the same can be said for the word “new”.

#3.  “New” Does Not Mean New, but “Not Used”(1John 2:8-11, Lev 19:18, John 13:34, Matt 27:60)

This word for “new” has been used 44 times in the Bible. But in at least 50% of the cases it does not mean “brand new”.  Let me share with you just a few examples the way this word is used in many of these verses. Let us continue here in 1John 2:8-11. And there we read:

1Jo 2:8  Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.

1Jo 2:9  He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

1Jo 2:10-11  He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.       But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

As you can see, this new commandment is not really new, for it refers again to Lev 19:18. It is not a brand new commandment, but it has “not been used”. That is why the Lord Jesus had to remind the Jews again in Matt 22:39 that this commandment was in the Word of God all the time.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 13:34 (2X). In the upper room, after they had eaten the Passover meal, and after the Lord had washed their feet, the Lord Jesus gave His last messages to His disciples before He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to be taken captive by the Jews. We can be sure that the Lord chose those messages that were most important to them after He had gone to the cross and was raised from the dead and had gone into heaven. And what does the Lord emphasize here in John 13, as well as in John 15? We read in John 13:34,

John 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

This again was not a “brand new” commandment that the Lord gave to His disciples. It already existed for 1500 years in the law of Moses, but it was not used before because it was not emphasized before like the Lord Jesus was emphasizing it now. Please turn again to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 27:60 (2X). When the two thieves crucified on the left and on the right of the Lord Jesus died, their bodies were thrown on the rubbish heap outside Jerusalem. Undoubtedly, the priests and Pharisees counted on the same lot for Jesus. But God intervened. After the Lord Jesus had died on the cross, Joseph of Arimathaea, a rich man of Arimathaea, took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. Then we read in Matt 27:60,

Mat 27:60  And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

This was not a new tomb in the sense that it was cut out of the rock the day before. It was not a “brand new” tomb. This tomb was there and ready for a long time, maybe many years, but it was called “new” because it was “not used before”.

·       Summary (Matt 13:51-52)

Please turn again to chapter 13 of this Gospel of Matthew, Matt 13:51 (2X). Before we lose our train of thought here, let me summarize what we have seen so far. We have seen that in parable number 8 of Matt 13 the Greek words “new” and “old” do not have the meaning of new and old in time The word “old” does not mean aged, but it means “first”. And the word “new” does not mean brand new, but it means “not used before”. Then we read in Matt 13:51-52,

Mt 13:51  Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.

Mt 13:52  Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe  discipled into the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man, an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure, new and old.

What we have understood from these words can be summarized as follows:

·        The scribe refers to a man who has become saved: he has been discipled into the kingdom of heaven and he has understood all these parables of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.

·        This scribe is now compared to an householder, a teacher or a preacher, who brings forth out of his spiritual treasure words of wisdom pertaining to salvation: words new and old.

The only puzzles remaining are these words “new” and “old”.  Could this new and old refer to the NT and the OT?  Definitely NOT!  The New Testament did not exist yet, and therefore the Old Testament was not called Old Testament. It was called “The law and the Prophets”. The key to this expression “new and old” has to be found in the preceding seven parables that the Lord Jesus taught His disciples. Have we found anything “new and old” in the preceding seven parables? How could we summarize what all these parables are talking about? What we learn from these parables is this: The kingdom of heaven is given totally by grace through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is known as “the covenant of grace”, or “the new covenant”, or “the better covenant”, which is given to us by grace by means of the faith that God gives us. These all refer to the same plan of salvation that God has for all His elect throughout both the OT as well as the NT periods of time. The only difference between the OT period of time and the NT period of time was the existence of the Ceremonial Law in the OT. What have we learned from the previous seven parables? The primary doctrine we have learned is that God is absolutely sovereign in all that He does, and that includes that God is absolutely sovereign in our salvation. When the Bible speaks about God’s plan of salvation, it does so in terms of:

 #4.      The Old Covenant and the New Covenant (Gal 2:16, Ex 19:4-6, Rom 10:4, 8:3-4, John 1:13)

But these are NOT the Old Testament time period and the New Testament time period. In fact, the old covenant and the new covenant have nothing to do with certain periods of time. The key is in understanding the word “covenant”. It is not an agreement. It cannot be an agreement whereby God says, “If you obey My commandments, then I will take you to heaven. If you disobey My laws I will punish you in Hell”. If this were God’s method of salvation, then nobody would be saved, for nobody would pass this test. Almighty God who created this immense universe does not have an agreement, or a covenant with man like I would make an agreement with one of you. If we would make an agreement with one another, it would be an agreement between two equal parties.  Almighty God would not make such an agreement between Him and us. We are an insignificant speck of dust in this universe. God does NOT have a mutual agreement between God and man. God is not saying: “If you obey My laws then I will take you into heaven”. That is an impossible idea.  God says that “By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Gal 2:16). We cannot get right with God by obeying His law! A covenant is something totally different: God is not handing out rewards for good behavior. When God speaks of His covenant, He refers to God’s self imposed obligation to save sinners. God obligated Himself to save a certain group of people from their own destructive sin. It means that God’s covenant is a covenant of grace. It is totally FREE! It cannot be other than free, for any test that God would design we fail, for God’s tests are infinitely righteous, and we cannot meet that. That is what these parables in Matt 13 were all about. They are all aspects of God’s grace! The Lord Jesus said in verse 51, “Have you understood all these aspects of grace?” That was an important question, because O.T. Judaism had become totally a works gospel. Why is it so important to understand that it is all by the grace of God? Let’s take a step back in history:

When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, (we have read that a few weeks ago in Ex 19:4-6) God called that His covenant. Was that the “old covenant”? It was part of the old covenant. Why was it called “old covenant”? Because it came first! But by itself the commandments were unable to save anyone. The law was not able to scare people into heaven, so to speak, for God plainly says that “By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Gal 2:16). We cannot get right with God by obeying His law, or any law! Then why did God give the law? God gave the law to intensify the sins, so that the law would lead us to plead for mercy, so that the law would be our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ. Only through Christ can we find grace in the eyes of God, for Christ is the end of the law (Rom 10:4), which means through Christ we have died to the law. And when we are dead to the law we have no more sin in God’s sight. Only through Christ can we come under the covenant of grace, or the new covenant. Why is it called the “new covenant”? It is called “new” because it was not used very much. Amazing! People do not like a Gospel that is totally FREE! Prior to Pentecost it was used only sparingly. How many covenants does God have to save people? The only covenant that saves people is the covenant of grace! Some O.T. saints knew that, but to most O.T. people in Israel it was unknown. They believed that they were going to heaven because they obeyed the law. That is also what present day Jews believe, and that is why Jesus told these parables.

Take for example the parable of the sower.  You are by now thoroughly familiar with this parable.

Consider those people who are represented by the stony ground and by the thorny ground: Why did they hang around the church for so long? They did not believe the Gospel with all their heart anyway. Why did they not quit in the beginning like those people represented by the wayside, which is a more normal reaction of the natural man. What took them so long? Well, it took them so long, because they believed that their association with the church made their standing before God a little bit better than that of their neighbors who do not go to church at all. Can you see that this is totally a works gospel? O, the depravity of man is drawing him to a works gospel every time. Three of the four soils, that is, three of the four groups of people showed by their actions that they are on the way to Hell. And the fourth group of people is made by God’s grace to be good ground. It has to be God’s doing, because God says: “There is none that doeth good, NO NOT ONE”.

Secondly, take the parable of the wheat and the tares. Because there is none good, NO NOT ONE, God has to sow His own elect group of people in the world. God says in this parable that the Son of man, Christ Himself, sowed the wheat, and the Devil sowed the tares. God knew from the beginning who the wheat and who the tares were. Their destiny was already determined in the nature of the seed. Those represented by the wheat were predestined to be saved and brought into heaven. The tares were left in their sins. The wheat was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. If God had not done that nobody would become saved, because there is none righteous and there is no one that seeks after God, NO NOT ONE!  Those whom God elected to save were not more righteous than others.  They were not more deserving than others. The only difference between them and others was that they inherited God’s good pleasure.

Please turn to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 8:3 (2X). Thirdly, Christ told the parable of the pearl of great price to show what He had to do for those unworthy sinners, to make them righteous in the sight of God. The Lord Jesus Christ had to wash them from their sins by paying for their sins the price that had to be paid; the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. That is the story of the purchase of the pearl of great price. He had to pay a great price. It cost Him everything that He had. But since He had to pay such a great price, it would be an insult to Him to claim that we too had a tiny puny part in this salvation. It would be an insult to claim that Christ is not able to save unless we too did our part in reaching out for Him. God is very clear in John 1:13 to say, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”. Anyone who is truly saved has been born of God, because God decreed it to be so from the foundation of the world. And so, what we see in these parables of Matthew 13 is grace, grace, grace. Salvation is all by grace. The covenant of grace is on display in Matthew 13. And why is this the only way to salvation? It is because God says in Rom 8:3-4

Rom 8:3-4  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:     That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

AMEN.                        Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.