The Parable of Garment, Wine and Wineskins

Posted by admin on 8 June 2014 in Luke |

Luke 5:33-39

33They said to him, "John's disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking."

34Jesus answered, "Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? 35But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast."

36He told them this parable: "No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, 'The old is better.' "

See v33. Here “They” are the Pharisees and the teachers of the law (30). They criticized that disciples of Jesus went on eating and drinking without any fasting. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law are leaders of religion in Israel. They are supposed to know and obey God better than others. But here they were opposing Jesus. The fact is they were sons of the Devil (John 8:44). How incredible, confusing and deceptive this world is! Have eyes to see behind of the scene. Have spiritual eyes.

The devil is an accuser (Revelation 12:10). Do not be surprised if people who belong to the devil criticise or accuse us.  When they criticize, Jesus’ answer to them revealed the truth about Christianity. What is the answer of Jesus? See v34.

The disciples of Jesus are like the guests of the bridegroom. This means they are invited to the wedding and in the middle of the feast! Wedding banquet is where we would eat and drink with joyful heart. The bridegroom is Jesus. This shows the characteristics of Christianity. The characteristics of Christianity are celebration, excitement, and joy like wedding banquet. When Jesus is at our heart, we are delightful, happy, and joyful. But if our life has lost room for Jesus in this world of sins and error pining, we should fast so that Jesus may be in the centre of our heart and life (35)

At v36 – v38, Jesus told them the parable of old/new garment and old/new wine/wine skins. Christianity is like new garment. So it can’t be fit into old garment – the traditional religion and its practice in Israel. Also it is like new wine, which requires new wineskins. New wine is the spirit of Christianity, which is different to old wine - Judaism. “New wineskins” is the form of Christianity, which is different to old wineskins – Jewish conventional practice of Judaism.

In Old Testament, it is written that “Love your neighbour.” (Lev 19:18) But in New Testament, Jesus commanded not only “Love your neighbour” (Luke 10:28), but also “Love your enemies” (Luke 6:27). This makes Christianity way different from Judaism. Their enemies were Romans that colonised Jews at that time. Romans crucified their enemies to scare and control them if they rebelled against Roman Empire. But in the view point of Jesus, Romans were also lost sheep of God. All human beings need salvation through Jesus. We shouldn’t withdraw Gospel from anyone just because they are enemies or related to enemies. We still need to give them the chance to believe and accept Jesus.

We are in the exciting journey with Jesus since we believed in Him. We learn His new way through this journey with Him.

What is your old garment? What is your old wine and wineskins? Let us put down our old way and stop patching new garment to old garment or pouring new wine to old wineskins.

I was a Buddhist. In Buddhism, I was taught to call the name of a saint thousand times for my wish to come true.  But I know I don’t have to repeat my request in a prayer because God knows what I need even before I start to pray (Matthew 6:7-8). In addition to this, I had many ideas from my old Buddhism belief. But the Word of God has healed many preoccupations of mine.

I pray that everyone who listens to this message may overcome his/her preoccupation, follow, listen and experience Jesus. Amen.



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