TEXT: Matthew 9:14-17
14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
Warren Wiersbe said, “Jesus came to bring spiritual wholeness; He did not come to ‘patch us up’ and then let us fall apart. The image of the wineskins teaches that He gives spiritual fullness. Jewish religion was a worn-out wineskin that would burst if filled with the new wine of the gospel. Jesus did not come to renovate Moses or even mix law and grace. He came with new life!”
The greatest dilemma that the religious leaders of Jesus’ day faced in regards to this man who worked such miracles and taught with authority they had never witnessed was how exactly Jesus fit into their religious system. In their minds, Jesus was an anomaly, an outlier. They had never seen anyone like Him. That is why repeatedly in the gospels we see the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes, coming to Jesus, asking Him questions, trying to figure Him out. Here, in this passage, the disciples of John the Baptist, though they asked a question specifically about fasting, are really trying to understand what makes Jesus’ disciples different from them. Why aren’t Jesus’ disciples conforming to the religious traditions that they conformed to?
As Jesus continues His response to John’s followers, He draws on the examples of mending a garment and storing wine in skin bottles. “No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.”
Regarding these examples, D.A. Carson writes: “The first of the examples is clear enough: a piece of unshrunk cloth tightly sewed to old and well-shrunk cloth in order to repair a tear will eventually cause a bigger tear. The second example is also a ‘slice of life’ in the ancient world. Skin bottles for carrying various fluids were made by killing the chosen animal, cutting off its head and feet, skinning the carcass, and sewing up the skin, fur side out, to seal off all orifices but one (usually the neck). The skin was tanned with special care to minimize disagreeable taste. In time, the skin became hard and brittle. If new wine, still fermenting, were put into such an old skin, the build-up of fermenting gases would split the brittle container and ruin both bottle and wine. New wine was placed only in new wineskins still pliable and elastic enough to accommodate the pressure.”
With these examples, Jesus is comparing His teachings to a new garment and new wine. Jesus did not come to patch up the old garments of religious Judaism. He came to give those who believe in Him an entirely new wardrobe. Jesus did not come to pour His wine into the old, brittle bottles of the Pharisees and Sadducees. He came with new wine and new bottles. Jesus is telling John’s disciples, ‘You must stop thinking according to the old ways. I have come with a new covenant — a covenant based on God’s love, mercy, and grace — a covenant that fulfills the Law, and yet transcends the Law. Stop trying to squeeze Me into your old, religion. I have come that all people might have NEW life.”
Even today, we make the same mistake that the religious crowd of Jesus’ day made. We try to take Jesus’ teachings, especially the ones that make us uncomfortable, and squeeze them into our religious scaffolding. We want to add a little Jesus-seasoning to our life when God wants to give us a whole new stew. Jesus came to disrupt life as we know it. Until we accept and embrace Jesus-as-Disruptor — until we let go of old, perfunctory religious practices — we will never fully experience the transformation that awaits us in Christ Jesus.
John Newton wrote:
In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career.
I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agony and blood;
He fixed His loving eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.
How can it be, upon a tree
The Savior died for Me?
My soul is thrilled, my heart is filled,
To think He died for me.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.