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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE GOOD HOUSEHOLDER

Matthew 13:51-52 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 a householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure thingsnew and old.

Jesus has just completed a number of lessons, using parables, to teach the apostles and other disciples about the kingdom of heaven, specifically those recorded by Matthew in Chapter 13 of his gospel message. After these teachings, He asked them, have ye understood all these things? Their reply was, yea, Lord. Had they not understood, they would probably ask for an explanation as they did on one occasion when they said, declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field (Vs.36). Also, it is apparent that they did not fully understand the parable of the sower, because Jesus thoroughly explained it in verses 18 through 23.

Having understood His teaching, Jesus now tells His disciples of their future responsibility by using another parable - the parable of the householder, which bringeth fourth out of his treasure things new and old. Having been taught the word of God, Jesus refers to them as scribes, or teachers. Under Jewish law, those that committed themselves to, and had completed a thorough study of God's word, were given the position and title of scribe, having the responsibility of interpreting and teaching Old Testament law to the Jewish nation. Here, Jesus uses this same title to refer to His disciples that had sat at His feet and learned from Him the law of the New Covenant that would soon replace the Old. It was this message that, later, they were responsible to teach throughout the world.

In this parable, the disciples of Jesus were compared to a householder, a word-title that describes the owner or the master of a household that, not only included family and servants, but he also held title to the real property on which they resided. The responsibilities of the household, both physical and spiritual, rested with the householder. An example of this is noted in Matthew 13:27 when the servants of the householder informed him of the tares found among the wheat. Also, Jesus used the householder in the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16), and again in the parable of the wicked vinedressers (Matt. 21:33-45). The householder was used in these parables because their position of responsibility was well known to His disciples. As the householder was responsible for the proper use of all they owned, so Jesus' disciples were responsible for the teaching of God's word, which was given them through the teaching of Jesus, and later by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

The treasure, or the storehouse of the householder, contained the fruits and grains, both new and old. The current year's harvest is stored here as well as the remaining harvest of previous years. It is from this treasure of food, some from prior years and some from the present year, that the householder was responsible to feed those of his household. Using this parable, Jesus was telling His disciples that they had a similar responsibility to feed, or to teach the spiritual household of God that which they had learned and now had stored in their mental treasury. The old things they had learned could refer to those things of the Old Testament, which were carried over into New Testament law. If so, the new things, then, would refer to the New Covenant law, which Jesus brought into the world fulfilling the Old. This is probably what Paul was referring to when he told Timothy, all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). Indeed, all things they had learned, or were yet to learn, contained valuable lessons that were to be established and passed on to the world. As spiritual householders, this was the responsibility of all disciples of Christ.

Today, all Christians are householders in the kingdom of God. As such, all are responsible, as were the disciples of our Lord, to bring forth out of his treasure all spiritual things, new and old, that have been learned. Christians are not to hoard, and keep to themselves, the wonderful teaching found in the bible as explained by our Savior, Jesus Christ, as well as other teachings of inspired messengers of God. Rather they are to be good householders, using their treasure of spiritual food to nourish and fill those that hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt. 5:6). The world is spiritually starving for Jesus Christ. He is the bread of life (John 6:48). As God's spiritual householders, we must go and feed the world!