How To: Prepare for Heaven

“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of Heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place.

He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?”And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.

Matthew 13: 51-58

Verse 52 really tripped me up, but I think the wording is just unclear. I think what Jesus means is that anyone who wants to be ready for Heaven must understand both the new teachings (Jesus’s teachings) and the old teachings (the Torah), and possibly how the new fulfills the old. As modern Christians we often forget why the Old Testament is there. We focus on the New Testament, specifically on the teachings of Jesus and Paul. And rightfully so!  They are the foundation of our religion. But in order to really understand them we must understand where they are coming from. We can’t just ignore the Old Testament, or use it only a stories for our children. We must learn from it, and understand how it made Jesus who He was.

I am always surprised that the people of Nazareth didn’t believe in Jesus. But I guess I can see how it would be hard to believe wondrous things of a boy you knew in diapers. Especially for those who remembered the scandalous situation surrounding His birth. I guess if there’s anything to learn from this, it’s not to let your expectations cloud your judgement. God can use anyone He wants for any purpose, even if it isn’t the person you would expect. Let your mind and heart be open to God’s word so you don’t miss out. After all, if you don’t listen and believe, God will move on.

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