USING WHAT I LEARNED UNDER HEAVY-HANDED PREACHING
He [Jesus] said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” Matthew 13:52
Every child of God is compelled to share their faith and to tell the stories of their relationship with Jesus. Some come to Jesus with no history of Christianity whatsoever. They have had no teaching and must get to know their new Father without the benefit of previous foundational teaching. This has its benefits. Their heart is a clean slate upon which God can write.
Others, like me, come to Jesus with years of Christian history under their belt. They have been saturated in the church culture. They know a lot of scripture and can espouse many of the doctrines. If all of this was learned, however, under the heavy hand of legalism, it is tempting to throw it all out and start fresh with Jesus. But should we?
In this short parable, Jesus makes it clear that the most effective teacher uses the new and the old. He reaches into the archives of the teaching he was given and realizes that even though the teachers were flawed, the doctrines just might have been sound. And if sound, they are treasures. Part of maturity is to be able to value the Truth apart from the messengers who delivered it. While they marred the face of a gracious God, they built a rock-solid foundation into the spiritual fiber of their young people.
It took me a long time to learn this. For a while, I threw out the hymns. For a while, I threw out anything that resembled ‘hell, fire, and brimstone.’ I stayed away from anything that lacked the blend of truth and grace. Eventually, I was able to make a swing back to the middle. The hymns became new to me. The scriptures I had memorized were available to me in prayer, in my attempt to encourage others, and I understood their context without having to engage in a lot of study. God had helped me see the treasures. He also helped me discard what had been unprofitable.
In this ministry and by the grace of God, I am able to teach from the old and a lot of the new. God has done a new work of grace in my life but each experience has been built upon, and been accentuated by, the foundation of learning that has served me well.
This mixture is what we are to pass on to those who come after us. Mentoring must be balanced with education and experience. Knowledge taught outside of the context of a relationship with Jesus will become a burden, not a joy. I can’t give away life-giving teaching if I don’t, first, enjoy a lifestyle where I sit and learn at the feet of Jesus.
If there is more of the old I need to embrace, reveal it. If there is more I am to discard, I am willing. Be the sifter, Lord Jesus. In Jesus' name, Amen
For more from Christine Wyrtzen and Jaime Wyrtzen Lauze, please visit www.daughtersofpromise.org
Originally published Wednesday, 05 July 2023.