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Berean Expositor Volume 4 & 5
The Scribe (or Householder).
This parable brings us to the last of the series in Matt. 13:, and like the first it does
not commence with the formula, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto."
The parable of the Sower dealt rather with the ministry of the word of the kingdom
than with the kingdom itself, and the closing parable deals rather with the minister than
the kingdom, the householder rather than the house. This parable is preceded by a
question, "Have ye understood all these things?" and this question exactly corresponds
(see structure, Vol. 2:, page 68, Vols. 2:/3:, page 32) to the statement of the Lord
concerning Israel as a nation, that they did not understand (Matt. 13: 10-16). In answer
to the question of the Lord as to whether they had understood all these things, the
disciples reply, "Yea, Lord," and upon this basis the last parable is uttered. We must at
once confess that the disciples have an advantage over us, for although we believe that by
the grace of God the exposition of these parables in our pages has been in harmony with
His Word, we could not presume to say that we understand all these things. There are
many who are completely in error regarding these parables who do not blush to speak of
"apostolic mistakes" whenever an action or word of an inspired apostle crosses their idea
of the teaching of Scripture, but such would hardly dare to answer, as the apostles did,
"Yea, Lord." Let us first of all consider the words of the parable:--
"Wherefore (or for this reason) every scribe discipled into the kingdom of the heavens
is like a man, an householder, who putteth forth out of his treasure things new and old"
(Matt. 13: 52).
It will be seen by the opening word "wherefore" (or because of this) that the parable is
connected with the claim of the disciples to have understood all things which were
intended to give them a complete history of the progress of the kingdom of the heavens.
This emphasis upon the word "understanding" not only contrasts the disciples with the
nation, but leads us to consider other passages where a few amongst Israel will have
understanding, particularly at the time of the end, when these parables will reach their
fulfilment. Dan. 11: referring to the time of antichristian apostasy says in vv. 33 & 35:--
"And they that understand among the people shall instruct many."
"And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge and to make
them white, even to the time of the end,"
and in Dan. 12: 3, 10:--
"And they that be wise (margin, teachers) shall shine as the brightness of the firmament."
"Many shall be purified and made white and tried. . . . the wise shall understand."