Bring Out the Old and the New
Earlier in this chapter, Jesus has given us several illustrations in order to understand what the Kingdom of Heaven is like – from a hidden treasure, to a rare pearl, to a fishing net which separates the good from the bad. There’s one illustration Jesus uses in Matthew 13:52 that I can definitely relate to.
Then He added, “Every teacher of religious law who has become a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a person who brings out of the storehouse the new teachings as well as the old.” ~ Matthew 13:52
That verse has me written all over it (and it’s not because I have visions of being a teacher of religious law). Nope. I feel a special connection to that verse because of how full my storehouse is.
While I may not be a candidate for a reality show, I am a bit of a pack rat! There. I’ve said it. I’ve kept loads of things over the years, all for no other reason than I just couldn’t bear to let them go.
I’ve kept baby shoes, baby teeth, baby clothes. First spoons, first haircuts, first report cards. I have almost every textbook I used while in university and every yearbook I’ve had since grade school. I’ve held onto useless things like lids to misplaced Tupperware and socks long ago abandoned by their mate. And I’ve clung to important things like every note my husband Ron wrote to me before he became my husband and every word my father spoke the day before he died. Those things are important. They represent my life. They’re the footnotes to my experiences.
Corrie ten Boom once said of experience that,
Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.
As you’ll recall, she spent several years, as an adult, in a German concentration camp.
So how do we relate the words of Jesus to our life experiences with God? How high should we elevate those mountaintops – and, how low should we drag the valleys?
Oswald Chambers once said,
Experience is never the ground of our trust; it is the gateway to the One in whom we trust.
In other words, my view of God should not rely on the experiences He’s brought me through. It should be based on the relationship I now have with Him, of which those experiences have played a part. We’re not to forget the past. Bring out the old teachings and the new.
And remember that the incredible grace of God is the thread that connects them all.
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