Mat 13:51-52 Why did Jesus tell this parable? See Mat 13:51. In the parable, who does the scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven represent? Who is the head of the household or landowner (same Greek word) that Jesus says they are like? See Mat 10:25, 13:27, 20:1, 21:33. What is the treasure? Cf. Mat 13:44. In what sense did Jesus as the head of the house bring forth from His treasures of wisdom both things new and things old? Cf. Mat 5:21-22, 27-28, 33-34, 38-39, 9:17. Was the kingdom message He proclaimed the same old kingdom message the Jewish people were used to hearing and were expecting to come to pass? In this light, what admonition was this parable for his disciples? Was the message they were to proclaim as scribes of the new covenant just a reformation of the old covenant? What sorts of things were they to bring forth in their proclamation of the kingdom message that would be new to their fellow Jews? See the previous context of chapter 13, esp. Mat 13:47, and cf. Mat 28:19, Eph 3:1-9, Col 1:26-27. In what way is New Testament Christianity a treasure of things both new and old? Is it significant that the Greek word for “brings forth” in Mat 13:52 is a strong action verb that is most frequently translated as “cast out”? What does this indicate about the manner in which Christ’s disciples are to bring forth their heavenly treasures? Cf. Mat 10:27.
Mat 13:53-58 Observe that Mat 13:53 marks the end of the second long discourse of Jesus in Matthew’s structure; cf. Mat 7:28, 11:1, 19:1, 26:1. What was Jesus’ home town? See Mat 2:23, 4:13. Why, after departing from beside the sea where he had been teaching did Jesus come to His hometown? See Mat 12:46-50, Mar 3:20-21,31-35, 4:1. What do these verses indicate about a significant change in Jesus after He began His public ministry that, when He returned home, was perceived by His family and those with whom He had grown up? Cf. Luk 4:16-22. What event seems to have effected that change? See Luk 3:21-22, 4:14-15. What initial effect did Jesus’ teaching produce among the people in his hometown, and how was that typical of all His ministry? See Mat 13:54a, cf. Mat 7:28, 19:25, 22:33, Mar 6:2, 7:37, 11:18, Luk 2:48, 4:32. What questions did their astonishment prompt them to ask that others who were equally astonished did not ask? See Mat 13:54-56. What was different about their relationship to Jesus that caused them to ask such questions? Because they had known Jesus previously—or thought they had known Him—how did they react to His teaching? See Mat 13:57-58. Why was that? Cf. Psa 50:21. In what way are many people like that today who were raised in the church and so “grew up with Jesus”? Hint: consider those who are somewhat “familiar” with the Bible and who suppose that because of that familiarity they know Jesus; how do they react when the true Jesus presents Himself to them through the sound doctrine of a faithful minister who proclaims the word of God with the same Spirit of holiness? Consider too: from whom does the greatest opposition often come for those who proclaim the truth: from those who are hearing the truth for the very first time, or from those who are already “familiar” with the word and have already formed opinions based on their prior experiences? Are we like that? What is the one and only thing that will guard against this type of misguided familiarity with the Lord that ends up taking offense at Him? Cf. Luk 8:15, 2Th 2:10; i.e., a good and honest heart that loves the truth. What does Mat 13:58 teach us about the relationship between belief and the observance of miracles? Cf. Mar 6:5-6. Do those who scoff at miracles do so because of their rarity, or are miracles rare for scoffers because of their unbelief? Cf. Heb 11:6. What does this passage teach us about the reason why so few miracles take place in many churches today where people suppose they are “familiar” with Jesus? Although familiar with Jesus, do they really believe? Are we like that?