Matthew 13:52-53

52 Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”

53 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there.

scribe (v.52) — The scribes originally were chroniclers, and were closely associated with the military movements of the ancient people. But with the advent of Ezra, the scribe filled a new office. He became, as in the case of Ezra himself, a reader and an expounder of the law of God. Ezra is the most conspicuous example of the true scribe, he who stood in the midst of the people and read the words of the law, indicating the meaning of them, not merely by elocutionary perfection, but by comment, annotation, exposition. That was the real office of the scribe. In the days of Jesus they were still the professed exponents of the law; but they then proceeded upon two principle, the first of oral tradition and that secondly of the interpretation of the letter with an almost painful accuracy. These two principles had become the means of obscuring rather than expounding the law.

His disciples were to become in their age the interpreters of the law of God. He said in effect, You are to become the new scribes, the interpreters of the Kingdom, those through whom the age will know the facts concerning the government of the God.— Morgan, pages 176 and 177

householder (v.52) — In the East, the householder was one in absolute authority, a king, a shepherd, a father. And so the figure employed is that of a despot, apart from the undesirable significance of the term. In this word “householder,” then, there is present the thought of loving yet absolute authority. Christ often used the word, and almost invariably concerning Himself. — Morgan, page 177

treasure (v.52) = treasure laid horizontally — laid up, possessed

brings out (v.52) = flings forth, scatters around — with the idea of prodigality, generosity

new and old (v.52) — fresh and ancient — They were to take what He was revealing to them about the Millennial Kingdom and add it to what was revealed about the Kingdom in the Old Testament.

The whole picture is one of an eastern householder, the master of a house, an authoritative ruler, lavishly scattering out of his wealth the things which are necessary for the supply and government of his household. Those who are gifted with imagination see the picture. It is full of color. No neutral tints are in it. The eastern house-master, house-despot, out of his treasure scattering upon his people, upon the children of his family, the sheep of his flock, the subjects of his kingdom, all that they need. It is the attitude of the real kingship, and real fatherhood, and real shepherdhood. — Morgan, page 178.

It was the message of the Millennial Kingdom that the disciples were to share with Israel. This is the message that they were told to share in Acts 1:8 when the Lord said: But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

This is the message that Peter did in fact share at Pentecost in Acts 2:16 when he began his message with: But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel …

This is the message the twelve were still to preach after the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 about which we read: When James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me [Paul], they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised (Galatians 2:9).

The twelve were not preaching about the body of Christ, the church. That message was given to Paul. In the church, there was no circumcision or uncircumcision, no Jew or Gentile. But the 12 apostles were to go only to the circumcised, the Jews, with the message of the Kingdom.

This separation lasted until Acts 28:25-28 when the Jewish leaders in Rome rejected the risen Christ. After that, only the gospel to the uncircumcised was preached.

When they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say: “Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you will see, and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.”’ “Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” 

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