Sermon Notes


This is the word of the Lord,

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.”

I have very much enjoyed the study of these parables about the Kingdom of God. Personally, it has given me a deeper understanding and desire to see God’s Kingdom built on earth. And I hope it has had the same effect on all of you.

And what we’ve been seeing in this chapter goes again the predominant teaching on God’s kingdom as we hear it among popular Christian circles. So, let me highlight three points from the previous sermons that demonstrate this.

• Through these parables, we have seen that the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of God, spreads over the expanse of all the earth reaching to every nation, tribe and tongue through the preaching and proclamation of the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth.

We are told to scatter the seed across the land, to expect the rise of the Kingdom to be like the biggest tree that grows out from the mustard seed, and at the end of the age the earth is called the kingdom of God by Jesus.

The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, is Jesus’ command to the fishers of men to cast their net far and wide.

Imagine how Peter felt at this bidding when the last time he obeyed Jesus on the waters, his fishing net caught so much fish that his boat nearly sank. If there is one thing he learnt that day, it was that only God can fill his net.

Therefore, in Acts 2 after the ascension of Jesus and the filling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter stood up and cast his net again by preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are told in Acts 2:41

Acts 2:41 ESV

41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

• Hence, this Kingdom rises from the ground up and does not descend from the heavens. More accurately, it did descend from the heavens when its King came down to dwell among us. Jesus ushered in this Kingdom through his life, death, & resurrection. Matthew 28:18

Matthew 28:18 ESV

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

He now rules over heaven and earth. He is high King over all. And as King he will subdue all his enemies under his feet. And we the church in evangelising, gathering, covenanting, discipling, and sending, are doing the work of furthering Christ’s Kingdom on the earth.

• This Kingdom is primarily a spiritual one, not a political or social one. However, it has a great impact on politics and society.

And today, we’ve come to the last of the parables on the Kingdom, and it has to do with the teachers of this Kingdom.


Matthew 13:51 ESV

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

• This is the first time we hear of Jesus asking his disciples if they ‘understood’ what he was teaching them.

The word that Jesus uses here for ‘understand’ is a word that properly means to put together, i.e. join facts (ideas) into a comprehensive (inter-locking) whole; synthesize.

“Are you able to put all these together and comprehend the big picture?”

• It was important for Jesus at this point that his disciples understand “all” of what he’s been saying. He wants them to comprehend every part so that the sum whole gives them a good perception of the Kingdom plan.

They said to him, “Yes”. Now we know for certain that the disciples did not understand everything since we see them rebuked by Jesus later on, in verses like Matthew 15:16

Matthew 15:16 ESV

16 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding?

But the point was that they knew far more than before and were growing in that understanding. These parables opened their eyes to the truth about the Kingdom, and this is the only time we hear them say “Yes, [we understood]”.

I wonder if their immediate response was also because of the volume of new information that was coming their way. The more I think about the parables, I would have had so many questions to ask Jesus. But so much was being taught to them that day, it would only have been overwhelming to hear these wonderful things.

Matthew 13:52 ESV

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.”

scribe – Among the Jews, a scribe was a very learned man, well versed in Jewish law. He was considered a religious teacher.

To put it more in context, they were instructors of the Old Testament, which at that time was the entire revealed word of God.

They were theologians who studied and taught God’s word.

Therefore – This is not only Jesus’ concluding remark to the series of parables, but is specifically linking his question to his disciples if they understood all these things, to this conclusion.

Since they comprehended all the parts of what was being said, therefore….

every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven – That is what his disciples who heard him were – scribes of the kingdom. Jesus was teaching and training the twelve and others with them to become both students and teachers of the Kingdom.

• Some of your translations more accurately would render the word ‘trained’ as ‘discipled’. The scribes of this Kingdom are first and foremost disciples who have been discipled for the kingdom of heaven.

• Now, we know that all scribes must be disciples, but not all disciples need be scribes, as we see in James 3:1

James 3:1 ESV

1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

1 Corinthians 12:29 ESV

29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?

There are those among us who are set apart by the Holy Spirit, like those who followed Jesus at that time, who were set apart for the ministry of teaching and training in the word. However, that does not mean that this verse is not applicable to the rest. On the contrary, those who teach are judged with greater strictness because their instruction to the rest of the people is not only in word but in action, by setting an example of what it means to be a Christian.

We call them leaders or preachers or teachers or pastors because it is their charge not only to make know the commandments of God but to train in how to observe those commandments. They are soldiers on the frontlines, leading the way and showing their people how to fight the good fight.

As such, their teaching and approach to the word are examples for the rest to follow. They are only set apart in their teaching responsibility, but everything else applies to every one of us.

• Now, every scribe of Christ must be trained for the kingdom of heaven. Jesus’ question in the previous verse suggests that the training for the kingdom is train these men to understand (put together) all that Jesus was saying.

As I suggested earlier, all that the disciples were learning about the kingdom were new to them. So, Jesus was making a contrast between the scribes of Israel at that point and his disciples. Any scribe won’t do, but a scribe who is trained for the kingdom of heaven, and every scribe of Christ’s kingdom must be so trained in this new theology that was being given to them.

is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old. – this then is the last of the parables on the kingdom of heaven and it has to do with the scribes, the teachers, the leading disciples of the kingdom.

• they are as master of a house responsible for the welfare of those of the household. And according to the need of the house, they are able to bring out of their treasure, what is new and what is old.

• The treasures of a scribe are neither silver nor gold, but knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

These treasures are considered in this parable as the valuables that sustain the household. This then is the duty of the scribe, a teacher of God’s word, to care for the welfare of the household of God by bringing out the treasure of knowledge and wisdom, the truth of God’s glorious kingdom.

1 Peter 5:2 ESV

2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;

• There are ‘new’ and ‘old’ treasures. Then, how can there be old and new knowledge? Old and new wisdom?

This is a direct reference to the Old Testament & the New Testament.

• So many Christians today fail to see that there are treasures that are ‘old’ because their teachers or scribes have never brought it out to their house. In fact, there are many who teach that the OT is not more valuable than a history textbook useful to know only what came before, and that it has nothing to offer those who live in the New Covenant.

Such scribes, according to Jesus, according to this parable are poor scribes who have not understood ‘all these things’.

Although these treasures be old, they are treasures nonetheless.

• A good teacher of the word is able to summon up from both the OT and the NT, the glorious truth of God’s kingdom.

• So few among us see the continuity of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. The predominant Christian culture and teaching in our context has taken a hacksaw to the binding between Malachi and Matthew.

A few years ago, we did a series on Covenant Theology which you can find on YouTube and I would encourage you to go listen to those three sermons to understand how the OT and the NT hold together.

It is a glorious thing brothers and sisters, when you can find Christ in every passage of the OT. The magnificence of the incarnation, the horror of the cross, and the glory of the resurrection foreshadowed throughout the pages of the OT.

• When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, Christ had determined to offer his body as the bread of recompense, that if the Adamites ate of Christ, they might live and not die.

• When the knife in Abraham’s hand was held back from killing his son, Christ had determined to pray for his Father’s will against his own and his Father would not hold back his hand from crushing his only Son for our sake.

• When Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness as a shepherd led his sheep, many were lost because of their disobedience and even Moses could not enter into the promised land. But Christ now leads his church through the ages and He has determined that not one be lost from those who have been given to him. He is able to sustain what Moses could not. And Jesus, unlike Moses has entered into paradise, and his victory is now ours.

• When Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights because he fled the will of God, Jesus would die and be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights because he kept the will of God.

• When the Levitical laws handed down to the people (every rule and law revealed not mere ritual but the heart of God’s will for his people) could not save, Christ had determined as the incarnate law to reveal the heart of his Father and to save to the uttermost.

• When David sang, the spirit that tormented a bad king left him, but when Jesus sings over his people, the walls of the kingdom of Satan come crashing down.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18

Matthew 5:17–18 ESV

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished