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January 21

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“Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” (Matthew 13:52 NKJV).

From: January 21, 2020

THE TREASURE FOUND IN BOTH THE OLD AND THE NEW

After Jesus had finished using many parables describing the kingdom of heaven, he asked his disciples whether they understood. They replied that they had understood. Jesus then called them “scribes” who had been instructed in the kingdom. In Jewish life, a scribe was one who was an expert in the Old Testament law as a result of copying it with great care, often one letter at a time to produce a new copy. They were also known as teachers of the law. Jesus told his disciples that they were now like scribes who were instructed in the new teaching of the kingdom, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
As a result of the training that Jesus had given his disciples, he compared them to a “householder,” one who is the owner of a great house, who brings out treasure from both the old and the new. This treasure is the gospel of the kingdom for the best way to understand the Old Testament is through the lens of the New. This understanding is a treasure because it has such value as being the only way to eternal life with God.
 
The one who would be a teacher of the gospel must bring out the treasure of the good news from the old and the new testaments. For the key to understanding all Scripture is Christ. Do you understand this?
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for Your Word and even more, thank You for Jesus, our Living Word. For we study at His feet. It is the Spirit of Christ, Your Holy Spirit, that gives us understanding of Your Word. Thank You for revealing the treasure of the gospel of the kingdom to us. Strengthen us to grow in understanding and to be as scribes, teaching it to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about Jesus” (Matthew 14:1 NLT).

From: January 21, 2019

WHICH KING WILL YOU CHOOSE?

This was Herod the “Tetrarch” (“ruler of a quarter”), not Herod the Great. He was one of the sons of Herod the Great, and was better known as “Antipas.” After the death of Herod the Great, his sons went before Tiberius Caesar to plea their case for their father’s throne, for their kingdom was ultimately under Roman rule. Tiberius subdivided Herod’s kingdom into a tetrarchy and gave Antipas rule over Galilee and Perea. Herod Antipas later divorced his wife and took his brother’s (Herod Philip II) wife, Herodias, as his wife. She was not only his brother’s wife, but also his niece (“Herodias” was Herod the Great’s granddaughter). John the Baptist publicly rebuked Antipas for this sinful union. Antipas, perhaps fearing anarchy in his kingdom from John’s preaching, and at the urging of his wife and her daughter, imprisoned and later beheaded John.
 
It was this Herod, Herod Antipas, that now feared that Jesus was in fact John the Baptist raised from the dead. The contrast between this puppet king of the Jews and the true king, Jesus, Son of David, Son of God is striking. Yet, the choice still remains today for us. Which king will you choose? The world’s puppet king or the One True King, Jesus?
 
PRAYER: Lord, we have declared You to be our Savior and our Lord, but we are easily distracted by the world’s kingdom. Help us to pull our affections off of our idols and put them on You. We want to worship You fully and first. Lord Jesus, we bow to You afresh this day as our only Lord and King. In Your precious name we pray, Amen.

“When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they had brought him, then bowed low to the ground before him” (Genesis 43:26 NLT).

From: January 21, 2018

JOSEPH’S BROTHERS BOW BEFORE HIM
Joseph had two similar dreams when he was young. In the first, he saw he and his brothers binding sheaves in a field when his sheave arose and stood up while theirs bowed down to his. In the second dream, he saw the sun, moon, and eleven stars bow down to him (Read Gen. 37:1-11). Now, his double-dream had come true. Here he stood, as the governor of Egypt, with all eleven of his brothers bowing before him.
 
Joseph is a foreshadowing of Jesus. For Jesus was rejected by His brethren and turned over to the Romans to be crucified. Yet, He arose and is coming again. When he does, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that “Jesus is Lord” (Phil. 2:10-11).

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away” (Matthew 13:47-48 NKJV).

From: January 21, 2017

I don’t know what you believe about heaven and hell, but Jesus taught that they were real places of eternal existence. In this parable of Jesus, He compared the kingdom of heaven to a fishing net that caught both good and bad fish. The good fish represented those who truly believed in Christ as Lord. And the bad represented those who were hypocrites.
 
The kingdom of heaven is to be populated by those who have made Christ king. However, there are those who pay lip service to Jesus outwardly, yet inwardly their hearts remain unchanged. They still have “self” on the throne. They have not made Christ the Lord of their lives. They are hypocrites. As the gospel “dragnet” gathers people into the church, both the saved and the hypocrite are present. Yet, at the “end of the age” (Matt.13:49), they will be separated. The “just” to everlasting life and the “wicked” to a place of everlasting torment called Hell.
 
This is why we must continually preach the gospel to the church. For we do not know who there is among us that has yet to truly confess Christ as King. And this is why each of us must examine our own hearts to be sure that we have truly submitted our lives to Jesus. Have you confessed Jesus as Lord and believed that God raised Him from the dead? Are you truly among the redeemed? The end of the age is coming. Are you ready?

“At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus” (Matthew 14:1 ESV)

From: January 21, 2016

This was Herod the “Tetrarch” (“ruler of a quarter”), not Herod the Great. He was one of the sons of Herod the Great, and was better known as “Antipas.” After the death of Herod the Great, his sons went before Tiberius Caesar to plea their case for their father’s throne, for their kingdom was ultimately under Roman rule. Tiberius subdivided Herod’s kingdom into a tetrarchy and gave Antipas rule over Galilee and Perea. Herod Antipas later divorced his wife and took his brother’s (Herod Philip II) wife, Herodias, as his wife. She was not only his brother’s wife, but also his niece (“Herodias” was Herod the Great’s granddaughter). John the Baptist publicly rebuked Antipas for this sinful union. Antipas, perhaps fearing anarchy in his kingdom from John’s preaching, and at the urging of his wife and her daughter, imprisoned and later beheaded John. It was this Herod, Herod Antipas, that now feared that Jesus was in fact John the Baptist raised from the dead. The contrast between this puppet king of the Jews and the true king, Jesus, Son of David, Son of God is striking. Yet, the choice still remains today for us. Which king will you choose? The world’s puppet king or the One True King, Jesus?

 

See this chart to understand the family tree of “Herod the Tetrarch:

“So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house'” (Matthew 13:57 NKJV)

From: January 21, 2015

The people of Nazareth were offended at the authority of Jesus’ teachings because of their familiarity with him. They knew his family. They had seen him grow up. “Who does he think he is coming back home preaching to us?” They thought.
Two ways we might relate to this passage:
One, we might relate to the Nazarenes. We sometimes respond without respect to Christ because of familiarity. We’ve been believers for a long time, so we feel we’ve heard it all before. We’ve sung all the songs. Listened to all the sermons. Attended all the holiday events. We lose sight of our “first love.” We become like the people of Nazareth. And we do not see Jesus do mighty works in our lives because of our unbelief.
Two, we might relate to Jesus. We sometimes experience rejection from our family and friends when we bring Jesus home with us. We are able to share our testimony of faith with strangers and see them accept Christ, but our own family members act offended when we offer the same to them. Like Jesus, we have no honor in our own house.
How do you relate to this passage?

“You rescue the humble, but you humiliate the proud” (Psalm 18:27)

From: January 21, 2014

This spiritual principle is found throughout Scripture, that God helps the humble, but opposes the proud. Being humble does not mean having low self esteem. It means to rightly esteem God and others above yourself. It means to give credit to God and others for your success and blessing. The proud person is often truly the one with a low self image or self doubt. As a result they puff themselves up and take credit to make themselves look better. Who gets the credit in your life?

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight” (Proverbs 4:7)

From: January 21, 2013

The first step for growing in wisdom is a desire to do so. Those who grow in wisdom, seek after it. There is a kind of wisdom that the world admires, but it does not lead to true understanding and life. The wisdom that God gives is life. Do you want this wisdom? Then, ask, seek, knock… and it will be given to you.

“Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old” (Matthew 13:52)

From: January 21, 2012

Jesus directs this to His disciples who are able to understand His parables. There is an encouragement here for the preacher to set a table from the storehouse of both Old and New Testaments.

“You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great” (Psalm 18:35)

From: January 21, 2011

And God has stooped down, offering His Son to us, exchanging His righteousness for our sin. In Christ, God stooped down to make us great!