Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Matthew 13:51-52 (NLT): “‘Do you understand all these things?’ ‘Yes,’ they said, ‘we do.’ Then he added, ‘Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.’”
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Jesus often spoke to the crowds in parables, spiritual truth veiled in a simple story. There were two primary reasons that He used stories rather than merely teaching truth claims.
He used parables to make spiritual truth easier to understand and compelling to reflect upon. Simply read the following verses.
Matthew 13:34-35 (NLT): “Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables. This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet: ‘I will speak to you in parables. I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world.’”
Another reason He spoke in parables was to accomplish an opposing objective. Parables were used to conceal truth from those who wouldn’t take the time to contemplate what He was saying and wouldn’t comply if they understood it. Simply read the following verses.
Matthew 13:13-15 (NLT): “That is why I use these parables, ‘For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.’ This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says, ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes — so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’”
So, it is in light of these two principles that we understand Jesus’ question in the verses I have chosen for today.
Matthew 13:51 (NLT): “‘Do you understand all these things?’ ‘Yes,’ they said, ‘we do.’”
Jesus wanted to know if His disciples were listening to His stories. He wanted to see if they were taking the time to contemplate them to understand their meaning. Were they listening to understand to make the adjustments in their thinking?
The fact that the disciples answered in the affirmative is shocking. I think that in Matthew 13:51, they simply didn’t want to disappoint Jesus, so they said they understood. I wonder if Jesus gave them a little grin to acknowledge that He wasn’t so sure of the truthfulness of their answer.
Regardless, the next thing Jesus said is powerful. He spoke of the joy of those who worked to understand God’s Word and the pleasure they had in conveying truth to people who would appreciate it.
Matthew 13:52 (NLT): “Then he added, ‘Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.’”
Those “gems of truth” are biblical principles. Have you ever had a moment when you were reading God’s Word or hearing God’s Word and a principle came to life in your mind? Have you ever understand a biblical principle and thought, “Wow! That’s amazing!”?
That shouldn’t be an anomaly. It is something that makes studying and teaching God’s Word so fun. We get to go into “his storeroom” (the Bible) and bring out “new gems of truth as well as old” (Old Testament and New Testament.
Friend, the Bible is fascinating. No one has ever plumbed its depths. There is more to be discovered. There are more connections to make. So dig into God’s Word and enjoy the experience. Then, continue in the enjoyment and share it with people.