In Matthew 13:52, we read what is the end of a series of parables being explained to the disciples. How fortunate we are to have a first person perspective through the revelation of God’s Words. I will admit that my intellect compares to that of these Galilean fishermen who are often baffled and in need of clarification of the teachings and parables of Jesus. Just as the disciples approached the Lord for explanation (Mat 13:36) I too need His wisdom to gain a better understanding of the words He was speaking.
So in benefiting from the breakdown given from our Lord in this thirteenth chapter, I would offer up a comparison that made sense as I read it this morning. When Jesus mentions that “every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house,” the first thought is that He is making reference to the Scribes in the Law of Moses. This sounds great, as it means there were those amongst the hard hearted who have come unto repentance. But this is merely a first-glance assumption and is owed further analysis.
Without indulging in pages of exposition of this passage (which it could easily take) Jesus is not proclaiming the sending of Scribes of the temple, or the Law of Moses, but scribes of the new covenant. Messengers who will proclaim the truth of the Word of God shall be sent forth (Mat. 28:19-20, Mk 16:15) to deliver a message to the nation of Israel (Mat. 23:34) and then on to the gentiles (Acts 9:15). But in both of these cases (Israel/Gentiles) it is not just a message of grace that is being delivered. For those who reject it, and will continue to reject it they will heap upon themselves greater condemnation, it is a pouring upon of more condemnation to those who will reject the message of salvation. Some will hear and convert, rejoice, and serve the Lord, but many others will scourge, kill, and persecute those who are proclaim the Gospel.
It is a hard pressed position to state that there is a separation of believers when it comes to ministering the message of our Lord. There was no certain ordination of who was to be the carrier of our Lord’s Words. The royal priesthood of believers is a universal ordination that includes what we’ve separated as Clergy and Laity. So while the clergy have their reserved parking spots and the laity, if it exists, has no prominence in the body at all, that is because of sheer design. There is nothing biblical about the separation and special attention given to those who “devote” themselves to the administration of “order” in the “local church.” So exerting authority over another because of education does nothing more than align actions with the Scribes of the Law of Moses when in short, we should all be Scribes in the New Covenant.
It could be said that we as a universal church have been reduced to babes running around bumping into walls and needing stitches. We should learn from the exhortation given from the author of Hebrews 5:12-14 and start from the beginning, and teaching each other as scripture commands us to do. We need not relegate this duty to appointed singular scholars who have striven their entire lives for that social recognition, or genealogical birth right handed down from father to son, vocation to vocation, but relegate it to elders amongst us, who qualify as fathers in the faith and servants to the body. Men who are willing to wash the feet of others are willing to serve in humility, knowing that they are ministering to souls, not bodies that fill pews once or twice a week.