About Facing the End

The Scribe by George Cattermole. Source: Cooper Gallery; (c) via BBC your painting
The Scribe by George Cattermole. Source: Cooper Gallery; (c) via BBC your painting

Striving towards edifying stewardship, knowledge, and steadfast endurance in and for Christ.

What The Parable of the Householder Encodes…

[Matthew 13:52] Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”

When it comes to defining the duty of so called the watchman of the end times, no other verse, to me, comes as precise or striking as our Lord’s words as above.
Term ‘treasure’, here, is denoted by a singular form of θησαυρός (thésauros) which in figurative sense means a storehouse (or repository) of treasure including “treasured thoughts stored up in the heart and mind” of a person.
Thus, the storehouse mentioned here is where the truth is passed down and stored up. Treasured thoughts or things new and old that are stored, then, mean the words of God and the history of salvation – of both the New and the Old Testament which are fulfilled in Christ.

So the quoted is indeed referring to a scribe, likened to a householder, taking out the mysteries concerning the coming of the Kingdom of God from his own storehouse of the heart and mind – that is, from the scribe’s discernment, personality and presence – and sharing them with the rest in a continuous manner.
Hence, we see four key terms included in the quoted verse: edification, stewardship, knowledge, and steadfast endurance.

Edification, Stewardship, Knowledge, and Steadfast Endurance

The whole acts of possessing the knowledge, sharing, and patiently enduring are to ‘edify’ for the benefits of the Christ and His body, which are of the paramount importance. Indeed, householder mentioned in the parable is expected to serve – for the purpose, no other than to benefit the Christ.

By ‘stewardship’, it is twofold – as much as the scribe is to share the mysteries concerning the coming of kingdom of God, the scribe first needs to learn, gather and store such in him to do so.

For all things of the old and new point directly to Christ in Whom things were, are, and will be fulfilled, it is, thus, essential for the scribe to have established a close one-to-one relationship with the Christ to be able to understand. The ‘knowledge’ here, then, would indicate that it will be more than a mere intellectual perception; it will be transcending knowledge of love based on the personal experience of the Christ. (Eph 3:18-19)

Finally, although ‘steadfast endurance’ was not directly mentioned, the concept is there in that to be able to serve and to attain knowledge that are both given by and of the Christ, not only obviously takes time till He comes (Matt 24:45-47), but also because the endurance is crucial for maturity in Christ-likeness. (Luke 8:15, Heb 10:36, James 1:3-4)
Endurance, after all, begets character (Romans 5:4), and once endurance has been pursued we, then, can pursue godliness (2 Peter 1:6) all in the aim to attain love (v 7).
And love is also patient and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4, 7) which also hint how we should love God. (2 Thes 3:5)

So if the above parable were to profess a goal with the four key terms we have just examined, then, it would be, to which this blog also roots its vision;
striving towards edifying stewardship, knowledge, and steadfast endurance in and for Christ.

Hence, this is why I believe eschatology, the study of the end, essentially, is of, and is more about, Agape love for humanity manifested on the Cross, than it is just about the end to come.

WHY ESCHATOLOGY CAN NEVER FEED DOOMSDAY SPECULATIONS

In inheriting the Kingdom unshaken, shaking of the world and the removal of the things that are shaken will continue so that only the unshaken ones remain. (Heb 12:26-28)  In other words, catastrophe and challenges will continue and be inevitable. Even our Lord had said such must come to pass, but the end is not yet – rather those are the beginning of the sorrows (Matt 24:6-8) and those do not justify the cause of the end.

And so, whenever the Bible prophecy is fulfilled, the purpose of having such foretelling is clear; it is to reaffirm faith in a person (John 13:19).
The purpose of this blog, then, is not only to discern the events concerning Christ’s soon and real return, but also to exhort, edify, and encourage – what forth-telling ought to do. After all, neither the eschatology itself, nor the purpose of looking into biblical prophecy, then, be merely centred on examining or postulating both man-made and natural disasters, or feeding spirit of doomsday speculations, or even to estimate the proximity to one’s rapture – all these, when focused in their own rights, will continue to eliminate the Christ Who shall complete the end.

And so my prayer for all – who visits this blog as much as it is for myself – is found in what Paul prayed for the church in Thessaloniki inscribed in 2 Thessalonians 3:5, and now on my heart;

“Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.”

Amen, may it be so till He returns. Maranatha.

-Agape-

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