18. People who follow JOHN the Baptizer, sometimes they FAST -- stop
eating for their religious worship. Also, religious leaders named
PHARISEES, they do FASTING. They went to Jesus and they asked, "John's
followers FAST, and PHARISEES sometimes they don't eat. But Your
followers, they never FAST. Why?"
19. Jesus asked them,
"Does a wedding GROOM and His friends refuse to eat while they are
together? No! While the groom is with His friends, they enjoy
themselves and eat.
20. But the time will happen that the GROOM will leave. Then His friends will FAST.
21. If you have a old clothes that has a hole, and you want to cover
that hole, what do-you-do? Do you cut a piece of new cloth that is
not-yet washed, not-yet SHRINK, and sew that on the old clothes? No!
If you do that, and then you wash those clothes, what will happen? The
new cloth will SHRINK and rip the old the clothes. That hole will
22. Also, You never pour new wine in an old
WINESKIN -- wine bag. If you do that, the bag will break. Both the
wine and the bag are destroyed. You never do that. If you have new
wine, pour that in a new wine bag."
In our lesson today
Jesus tells three stories.
The 1st story is easy.
The 2nd and 3rd stories are hard.
Jesus tells those three stories for answering this question.
about a religious tradition called FASTING --
That means: suspending any eating for a short time.
People FAST for various reasons.
Sometimes they fast because that helps them
focus their prayers.
Sometimes they fast because they are sad about their sins.
FASTING is a good tradition.
Remember that Jesus fasted while He challenged the devil,
and the devil tempted Jesus.
Jesus fasted other times for prayer.
But some people noticed Jesus' Disciples,
they never fasted.
Jesus answers with the first story:
a wedding GROOM and His friends refuse to eat while they are
together? No! While the groom is with His friends, they
enjoy themselves and eat. But the time will happen that the
GROOM will leave. Then His friends will FAST."
The Groom = ?
In several stories, Jesus uses the picture of a wedding.
In all those pictures...
And that is true here, also.
|The Groom's friends = The Disciples|
While the 12 Disciples were with Jesus, they don't need to FAST.
But after Jesus ascends to heaven,
the Disciples will have reasons for fasting --
But their real reason for fasting is never for
traditions and church rules,
as the Pharisees did.
Jesus emphasized that point in His next two stories.
you have a old clothes that has a hole, and you want to cover that
hole, what do-you-do? Do you cut a piece of new cloth that is
not-yet washed, not-yet SHRINK, and sew that on the old clothes?
No! If you do that, and then you wash those clothes, what will
happen? The new cloth will SHRINK and rip the old the
clothes. That hole will become worse!"
Huh? What does that mean?
Remember that Jesus told stories like this for a deeper meaning.
He doesn't tell this story for giving advice about sewing clothes.
This story has a spiritual meaning. What?
Old Clothes = ?
New Cloth Patch = ?
How does this story about sewing clothes connect with the previous question about fasting?
Here in this story, Jesus has two parts:
(1) Something old.
(2) Something new.
In our faith and life with God,
what is "old"? ...what is "new"?
[People may offer various answers.]
In our faith and life with God, what is "old" and what is "new"
that conflict, and can't merge together?
LAW and GOSPEL.
Remember what those two words mean...
Law is Bad News.
Gospel is Good News.
God's Law shows our sin.
His Gospel shows our Savior.
His Law names us "Guilty!"
His Gospel names us "Forgiven, Clean, Holy."
His Law sends us to hell.
His Gospel saves us from hell
and brings us to heaven.
His Law names us His enemies.
His Gospel names us His children.
His Law explains what we must do,
but we can't do.
His Gospel explains what Christ Jesus did for us,
in crucifixion, suffering, death, and resurrection.
All religions in the world are LAW religions.
Only Christ is Gospel.
Now... back to our first story about fasting.
Remember how people complained that Jesus' Disciples
didn't follow old laws and old traditions.
Those laws don't make a person good.
Those traditions don't save us.
But many people --- many Christian people
mix together Law and Gospel.
When Christ forgives them, they add rules and traditions,
and they hope that will make them "good enough."
They set up rules that they expect will make them better,
and they criticize other Christians
for not following their invented rules.
The same-as religious PHARISEES fasted often,
trying to improve themselves,
trying to impress God.
Sorry. That never works.
Religion that mixes Law and Gospel
makes the Law weak
and makes the Gospel worthless.
What they call "Gospel" is not really Good News.
Their gospel is only more bad news, more law.
...like a new PATCH on old clothes
ruins both the Patch and the clothes.
|Old Clothes = Living by the Law.|
New Cloth Patch = The Gospel of God's Forgiveness.
Jesus doesn't use the Gospel like a PATCH for fixing our Law "clothes" (life).
No, Jesus gives us "new clothes!"
Meaning, He gives a complete [full] new life in His love and mercy.
The Bible says that when you belong to Christ, you become a new person.
Jesus emphasizes that point in
said, "You never pour new wine in an old WINESKIN -- wine bag. If
you do that, the bag will break. Both the wine and the bag are
destroyed. You never do that. If you have new wine,
pour that in a new wine bag."
Different picture -- same lesson.
In Jesus' time, they didn't have glass bottles for making wine and alcohol.
They made leather bags from animal skins.
They named their RAW grape juice >> "new wine."
That juice they poured into the bag.
Then they tied the bag closed, tight, so no air could get in.
That is important.
If air touches the juice, that juice will become vinegar, not wine.
So they must keep air out.
But when the juice becomes wine,
that makes gas called C-O-2 -- CARBON DIOXIDE,
the same gas that we all breath out.
When that happens, the gas stretches the bag,
almost like a balloon.
That means they can use the bag for making wine only one time.
If they try to use the animal skin bag a second time,
the bag can't stretch any more.
The bag will break.
And the wine will spill-out.
That picture means.... what?
Old Wine Bag = ?
New Wine Bag = ?
New Wine (juice) = ?
"Old Wine Bag" is like the "Old Clothes" in the 2nd story --
a person who thinks, acts, and lives only looking at
religious rules, Law.
|Old Wine Bag = a person living under Law|
New Wine = The Gospel of Jesus Christ
New Wine Bag = New life in Christ (grace, forgiveness, and the Holy Spirit)
Please don't misunderstand.
Some people teach that Christians don't need God's Law.
They teach that "free in Christ" means that we don't need to follow God's Law.
think that I came to destroy the Law or the teaching of the prophets. I
didn't come to destroy them. No, I came to make happen what the Law and
Prophets say. I tell you the truth, nothing will disappear from
the Law until heaven and earth are gone... Whoever refuses to
obey any command and teaches other people not to obey that command will
be the least important in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever
obeys the commands and teaches other people to obey them will be great
in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:17-19)
So you see that God's Law is very important.
And the most important thing that God's Law does is what?
GOD'S LAW SHOWS OUR SINS.
God's Law shows us that we can't save ourselves.
God's Law shows us that we need a Savior.
The Law has no power for making us better people.
The Law has no power for helping us have a right relationship with God.
Only God can do that in us.
When Jesus forgives us, HE makes us right.
We don't do that ourselves.
When His Holy Spirit lives in us,
He does His work through us.
He helps us do the things that God wants.
If we mix Law and Gospel,
that "Law" loses its power for judging
and it gives false hope for people still trying
to save themselves.
If we mix Law and Gospel,
that "Gospel" loses all its sweet love and forgiveness,
and becomes more rules.
That false law and that false gospel both become worthless,
same as new wine in old wine bags
breaks and spills.
stories have meaning for people who first have "strong religion" with
many rules. Then they understand that their many rules can't save
them, and they trust Christ.
Those stories also have
meaning for people who have the opposite experience. Their
lives are filled with terrible sin. They see that they also are
lost, and they trust Christ.
|Old Wine Bag = a person living in sin|
New Wine = The Gospel of Jesus Christ
Now that they have Christ, can they continue their sin-filled lives?
That's like sewing a new cloth PATCH on old clothes.
Both tear-apart and become ruined.
That's like pouring New Wine in old wine bags.
The bags break and the wine is lost.
God the Holy Spirit touches their conscience,
so the old "fun" things aren't fun any more.
Now they have guilt.
And their going back to sinning ways
and that makes their hearts hard against Him.
When Christ is in us,
He wants to make NEW LIFE in us.
He wants to make HIS LIFE in us.
|New Wine Bag = New life in Christ|