And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’” vs. 52Matthew 13:44-52
Jesus closes out this series of parables with an enigmatic saying that can be understood to describe what he had been doing in his teaching. He certainly did not disdain the law and the prophets that were a part of the Hebrew scriptures. He clearly valued some of the old practices but he regularly provided a new perspective on what it meant to live in the kingdom. The people in the synagogues marveled at the authority he brought to the new teachings he was presenting. When he left his disciples, he told them he would send the Spirit of Truth who would continually refresh his teachings. It’s amazing how difficult it has been for his followers through the centuries to adjust to that promise. Always there has been a clear preference for the old and any new teachings have been received with skepticism and unbelief. It’s so hard for us to believe that the old, old story can be taught in anything but the old, old ways. The old poem by James Lowell, “Once to Every Man and Nation,” put it well: “New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth; they must upward still and onward who would keep abreast of truth.” Blessed are those teachers who present Spirit-inspired new teachings that do not negate, but enhance, our faith community’s ancient scriptures.
Thought for the Day: New teachings that I have embraced.