Today, I was going through my contacts list on my phone and I was deleting contact information for people that I no longer needed on my phone. Most of the contact information that I was deleting were businesses or professional associates that I no longer contacted because we had moved out of the area. While I was doing that, I began to think of what it would be like if we could just delete the memories that were painful, or delete the things we didn’t think were useful. God didn’t make us that way because it really wouldn’t be healthy for us. The parable for today is the last of the “kingdom” parables that I will be looking at and I think there is a little bit of a parallel with that idea.
After using several parables to teach His disciples about the kingdom of God, Jesus asks them if they understood. When they answered yes, Jesus said, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures and old.” Personally, I love decorating using new items with things that I already have; it is a thrill for me to find things that go together. However, Jesus wasn’t talking about decorating, he was talking about using what they already knew about God and applying that with what Jesus was telling them. For us, that would be like finding application in the Old and New Testament. Jesus didn’t come to abolish everything God had told us in the Old Testament, He was adding to the old and bringing a fresh new look on God’s kingdom. There is nothing invalid about the Old Testament; I will even go as far as to say that any invalidity lies in our interpretation. Jesus wasn’t hitting delete on the Old Testament; he added an insight that we didn’t have.
I think Jesus knew that we humans would struggle with that issue. I have known Christians that only read the New Testament because they feel that Jesus came and changed everything and thus the Old Testament was no longer applicable to us today. On the flip side, I have known Christians that have gotten caught up in the Old Testament and live life by the law (which is known as legalism). Neither approach is healthy for our spiritual walk. In fact, when reading the Old and New together, we can see how God has been drawing us closer to Him throughout time. Jesus’ sacrifice did end some of the things written in the law, but then we can study those parts and see how they were foreshadowing Jesus. Looking at them together is so beautiful.
We then get to share these treasures with those around us as if we were decorating with the old and the new. I will go even further to say that our past is not an invalid part of our lives; whether or not we want to admit this, it affects us today. Our past is a part of our future, whether it was wonderful or painful. My painful childhood is a part of me and always will be – I cannot separate it from me. The beauty is what God has done with it and how He will continue to use it.
Are you applying the Old and the New together? Are you taking what God has done with your past to propel you further in your relationship with Him? Are you sharing the wonderful news about Christ with those around you?