Parable of the Householder

Matt. 13:52

Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.


It is very amazing to me that this parable isn't included in any book of parables I have!  An explanation of these verses is included in most of the commentaries I have.  This parable, however, is very important because this parable shows how we fit into God's plan.


I.    It is very apparent that verse 51 is a prerequisite to verse 52.  It is necessary to first understand the previous parables before being able to understand the one before us.

A.  The gist of the parable is that if a person will understand the parables, they will be a scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven.

1.      They will be considered a good scribe, who will be likened unto a householder.

a)   A scribe is one who has searched the details of the Word of God.

b)   He hasn't taken the word of another, but searches for himself.

c)   A scribe is one who teaches another.

d)   It is as impossible to teach that which you do not know as it is to come back from where you haven't been.

e)   Before a message can penetrate the heart, it must lodge in the head.

2.   A householder is Christ, who works every circumstance to bring about his eternal plan in His kingdom.

a)   The person that understands the parables will understand that there is more to life than just their short life span.

b)   He will understand where he fits into God's plan, and will know and understand that the world doesn't revolve around their thoughts, needs, and plans.


II.   Define the word "instructed".

A.  It means to be a disciple of one, to follow his precepts and instructions.

B.            Therefore, the passage before us is speaking about a person who has learned to follow God by following the principles of God's Word through a diligent study of His Word.


III. What is a scribe?

A.  In the Old Testament, a person who writes down to keep a record of; a person who tells the record; a person who keeps track of the number.  A scribe seems to be a person who keeps an accurate record of happenings and events. 

1.      Strongs Number 1122 grammateus {gram-mat-yooce'} a clerk, scribe, especially a public servant, secretary, recorder, whose office and influence differed in different states

2.   In the Bible, a man learned in the Mosaic law and in the sacred writings, an interpreter, teacher. Scribes examined the more difficult and subtle questions of the law; added to the Mosaic law decisions of various kinds thought to elucidate (explain) its meaning and scope, and did this to the detriment of religion.  Since the advice of men skilled in the law was needed in the examination in the causes and the solution of the difficult questions, they were enrolled in the Sanhedrin; and are mentioned in connection with the priests and elders of the people.  See a Bible Dictionary for more information on the scribes.

3.   A religious teacher: so instructed that from his learning and ability to teach advantage may redound to the kingdom of heaven.

B.            SCRIBE Person trained in writing skills and used to record events and decisions (Jer. 36:26; 1 Chron. 24:6; Esth. 3:12). During the Exile in Babylon educated scribes apparently became the experts in God's written word, copying, preserving, and teaching it. Ezra was a scribe in this sense of expert in teaching God's word (Ezra 7:6). A professional group of such scribes developed by New Testament times, most being Pharisees (Mark 2:16). They interpreted the law, taught it to disciples, and were experts in cases where people were accused of breaking the law of Moses. They led in plans to kill Jesus (Luke 19:47) and heard His stern rebuke (Matt. 23).[1]

C.   A scribe can be either good or bad.

1.      Neither good or bad.

a)   Matt. 2:4 - Herod inquires of the scribes where Christ should be born.

2.      Good scribes.

a)   II Sam. 8:17 - Seraiah was the scribe during David's reign.

b)   Ezra 7:1-6 - This Ezra is a priest and a scribe (the lineage is given), who is a good scribe.

c)   Ezra 7:10 - Ezra had done as all good scribes should do.

(1)      Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of God.

(a)            It is absolutely ridiculous for us to seek the Law of God for someone else's benefit.

(b)            If we don't first seek it for our own learning, it will be completely impossible for us to understand it for someone else.

(c)            Each person must understand God's law for themselves.

(2)      Ezra had prepared his heart to do the law of the LORD.

(a)            It is one thing to seek to understand the law of God, but it is a completely different thing to seek to do what the law says.

(b)            God puts in the heart of every believer to learn His law, and also to do it.

(c)            Every believer will be dissatisfied with their lives, if they don't put into practice what God's law states.

(3)      Ezra had prepared his heart to teach the law of God.

(a)            We can never teach others what God's law states until we first learn it for ourselves, and then do it ourselves.

(b)            If we try to teach others what God's law states without first learning it and applying it to our own lives, we will be counted hypocrites by our listeners.

d)   Nehemiah 8:1-4 - The same Ezra is present when Nehemiah comes to Jerusalem, and is much help.

(1)      Ezra performs the act God has put in his heart.

(2)      This performing comes only after the proper application to self.

3.   Bad scribes.

a)   Ezra 4:6-9 - Shimshai was the scribe during the time when Ezra was rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.  He caused Ezra much trouble.

b)   Matt. 5:20 - Christ declares that if a person's righteousness doesn't exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, they shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.

c)   Matt. 7:29 - Christ taught as one having authority, and not as one of the scribes.

D.  The scribe in this verse very plainly is referring to the person who searches God's Word to find the definition of parables.

1.   He isn't so interested in making the parables fit his beliefs as he is in finding out what God says they mean.

2.   He is very willing to change any and all of his beliefs to fit God's beliefs.


IV. What is a householder?  The head of a family, or master of a house.

A.  The word householder appears only four times in the entire Bible.

1.      Matt. 13:27, "So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?  It is very obvious that the householder in this verse is Christ.

2.      Matt. 13:52, "Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.  The passage before us, for which we are getting an answer.

3.      Matt. 20:1, "For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.  It is very obvious that the householder in this verse is Christ.

4.      Matt. 21:33, "Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:  It is very obvious that the householder in this verse is Christ.

B.   Christ is the householder we will be like, if we forsake the things of this world to discover the truths of God's Word.

1.      Nobody can do this for you, you must do this for yourself.

2.   It's good to read books, and learn what others have learned, but you must read the books in order to learn what others have learned.

3.      You've got to get off your duff and get into action.


V.  Treasure old and new.

A.            Prophecies of the Old Testament and the fulfilling of those prophecies in the New Testament.

B.   Things of great value for Christian living that have been learned a long time ago, and some other things of great value for Christian living that have been learned only recently.

1.   I heard a preacher preaching one time about the Holy Spirit.

a)   He stated that he had been preaching some 20 years, and was just now learning about the work of the Holy Spirit.

b)   He stated that He wished he had studied the Holy Spirit many years ago.

c)   It would have been very valuable to him.

2.   The real Christian will continually learn how to live the Christian life.

C.   Old truths never change, yet there are new applications of old truths to our lives.

1.      Some people cling to old fashioned ways of living, (plowing with horses, no electricity, etc.,) thinking that aid their old truths.

a)   There is nothing wrong with electricity, or diesel tractors; as long as those things do not get in the way of our religion, or cause us to forsake old truths.

b)   The application of old truths give us new experiences in those old truths.

c)   Old truths in discovers of past years cannot be changed, but we should be adding new discovers of our own, not content to rest in past laurels.

2.      Others have forsaken the old truths and are using only new "truths" as the foundation of their religion and their lives.

a)   An example are those that believe in the New Age Religion, which is nothing more than the Old Lie from Satan.

b)   Some are trying to bring back Pentecost by speaking in tongues, praying in tongues, healing disease, and completely forsaking God's Word by concocting a Word of Truth.

[1]Holiman Bible Dictionary.  Topic "Scribe"