Friday, November 28, 2008

Reorientated

Have you understood all these things? Jesus asked. Yes, they [disciples] replied.

Jesus said to them, Therefore every teacher of the law [scribe] who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old. ~ Matthew 13:51-52

Jesus had been teaching the about the kingdom of heaven using parables. Sometimes he spoke publicly to crowds, other times privately to his disciples. The passage above was spoken to the disciples.

Jesus said that they were the new scribes of the kingdom message. What did that mean? If you trace the history of the scribes you can go all the way back to Ezra. Ezra shows up in the book of Nehemiah -- he was the one who stood on the wooden platform, read the law, and then explained it. That event launched a spiritual and scriptural revival that reorientated God's people to His purposes.

As the years passed the scribes became maniacally committed to protecting the Law. In doing so, they began to add their own safeguards. Soon traditions superseded the actual law itself. When you read through the gospels, you witness Jesus in red hot debates, excoriating the scribes for diluting or completely disguising the true Word in a maze of man-made traditions.

The kingdom parables of Matthew 13 make up the backdrop that led to Jesus' question, Do you understand all these things. He was confirming that his disciples were reoriented to the core message of the kingdom message. That was important, because Jesus authorized them as the new scribes with fresh authority to bring the kingdom message to the world.

Jesus' words hold great relevancy for Christ followers today -- those who have been reacquainted with the core message of the gospel. Once again, the old message is finding a new audience. Those who have been reorientated to the message of the kingdom are empowered with kingdom authority to bring the undiluted message to our work-a-day world.

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