The religious teachers at the time were largely uninstructed about the kingdom of heaven. One is reminded of Jesus' encounter with Nicodemus, a teacher and leader of Israel. He spoke to Nicodemus about being born again, but he didn't understand, and Jesus said to him:
"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?" John 3:10Practically, what this meant was that the Jews weren't using their spirit properly to infer applications from the scriptures. They didn't understand the allegorical meaning behind the Old Testament nor behind Jesus' teachings. All they saw was the dry literal letter of the Law. The apostle Paul writes:
"He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant-- not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 2Co 3:6In fact Paul had been a teacher of the Law instructed about the kingdom. And we can see from his writings and ministry how he brought out treasures of wisdom both using Old Testament scripture and new revelation, coming up with even allegorical applications of the Law of Moses, as in his application of Deut 25:4
"Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn't the Law say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses: "Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain." Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn't he?" 1Cor 9:8-10Apollos was another such man "For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ."Acts 18:28
Today Christians tend to devalue the Old Testament, but it is just as much the Word of God as the New.
|Teachers who know both the kingdom and the Law
Instructed in the truth can upon such knowledge draw
Like a master of a house bringing out old things and new
To instruct the humble student in all things which are true.
Both testaments have value both new and the old
For God's Word is eternal and also manifold
But as we read the Bible making observations
Let us by our spirit infer the applications
The Berean Christian Bible Study ResourcesAug 13,2020