Matthew 13:51 "Have you understood all these things?" They said to him, "Yes." 52 And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old."
How would you answer the question Jesus asked His disciples, "Have you understood all these things?" If we answer, "No", we need to understand why. It is quite dangerous for us not to understand the teaching of Jesus since He has the words of eternal and abundant life (John 6:68). Jesus said, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4) What if you were starving and found directions to a cache of food but couldn't understand the directions? You would continue to starve. If we cannot understand God's word we are starving because we need God's word to live an abundant and eternal life. The unbeliever who doesn't understand God's word is headed for eternal torment and not eternal life. The believer who doesn't understand God's word is forfeiting the abundant life Jesus came to give us (John 10:10b).
Mark 8:17 gives us the reason for not understanding - hardened hearts. The deceitfulness of sin hardens hearts (Hebrews 3:13). Daily encouragement from believers keeps our hearts from being hardened (Hebrews 3:13). When unbelievers fellowshipped with believers and heard God's word, they believed (1 Corinthians 14:24-25). Believers need the daily exhortation or encouragement from believers to keep their heart from being hardened. We get this fellowship by reading the word of God and gathering together with believers (Hebrews 10:24-25). The result of not understanding the scriptures is losing the word of God - Satan snatches it from those who don't understand (Matthew 13:19). The result of not understanding God's word is NOT producing fruit (Matthew 13:23) which is the substance of an abundant life (Galatians 5:22-23).
We need to go to Jesus to gain understanding of His word, just as His disciples did. Jesus opens our minds to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:45). "Jesus, help me understand Your word!" We know this is a prayer according to God's will because He has commanded us to understand His word (Matthew 15:10; Ephesians 5:17) and if we ask according to His will we know we have what we ask (1 John 5:14-15).
Back to Jesus' question, "Have you understood these things?" If we can answer," Yes", then we will believe and practice the Word of God. As we learn and live His word, we will experience abundant living in any circumstance. We will bring out of the treasure of our understanding what is new and old. Romans 15:4 teaches us that the Old Testament was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of Scriptures we might have hope. The New Testament instructs us who we are in Christ, the resources we have in Christ and how to use those resources to live an abundant life and complete our God-given assignment using His power and "know how". All Scripture is profitable (2 Timothy 3:16-17) for teaching us how to live an eternal and abundant life and Jesus will open the mind of all who ask for help to understand the Scriptures. ASK.