“KEEPING THE MAIN THING (JESUS) – THE MAIN THING” – Luke 5:33-39, Matt Mercer, Teaching Team

“KEEPING THE MAIN THING (JESUS) – THE MAIN THING”

SERMON ON LUKE 5:33-39 BY MATT MERCER ON 06/13/2021

OPENING PRAYER & SCRIPTURE READING (PLEASE STAND):

  • (1)  Please Stand in Reverence of God’s Inspired, Revealed Word
  • (2)  Please Stand in Acknowledgment of Our Beloved Bridegroom

PERSONAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AS WE BEGIN SERMON:

  • (1)  I am far less concerned with how this sermon goes today (externally) as I am with GOD inwardly, internally, radically transforming and changing our hearts in regards to the particulars in this passage.  Amen
  • (2)  THIS IS MY PRAYER(!) 
  • (3)  OPENING PRAYER TIME:
    • “PLEASE GOD.  MAY YOU DO IN ME.  AND WITHIN MY PRECIOUS BROTHERS & SISTERS INWARDLY.  WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE IN OUR LIVES FOR YOUR GLORY.  AND BY YOUR TRANSFORMING POWER AND ABILITY TO CHANGE THE HEART.  AND BY YOUR HOLY SPIRIT WHO EMPOWERS AND RESIDES WITHIN US.  IN THE NAME OF JESUS WE PRAY.  AMEN.”

HYMN SONG:  “HAVE THINE OWN WAY LORD (1907)”

((BASED UPON JEREMIAH 18:1-6))

HAVE THINE OWN WAY, LORD!  

HAVE THINE OWN WAY!

THOU ART THE POTTER, I AM THE CLAY.

MOLD ME AND MAKE ME AFTER THY WILL;

WHILE I AM WAITING, YIELDED AND STILL.”

JEREMIAH 18:1-6:  AT THE POTTER’S HOUSE:

1 “This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord

2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 

3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 

4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

5 Then the Word of the Lord came to me. 

6 He said, “CAN I NOT DO WITH YOU, ISRAEL, AS THIS POTTER DOES?” declares the LORD. “LIKE CLAY IN THE HAND OF THE POTTER, SO ARE YOU IN MY HAND, ISRAEL.”

INTRODUCTION:

A KEY IMPORTANT QUESTION THAT I WANT TO ASK IN INITIAL APPROACH TO THIS PASSAGE ((AND I WANT EACH OF YOU TO KEEP IN THE FOREFRONT OF YOUR MINDS AS WELL THROUGHOUT THIS WORSHIP TIME)) IS: 

“ARE THOSE WHO ARE PURSUING JESUS WITH THIS QUESTION OF THEIRS ON MATTERS ABOUT FASTING:

(1)   “SHOWING FORTH OF THEMSELVES, THE FRUIT(S) OF BEING (PEOPLE) THAT ARE “CLAY” IN THE POTTER’S HAND????”

(2)  OR, SADLY ARE THESE SAME PEOPLE MERELY WANTING FOR THEMSELVES BE “THE POTTER” (AUTHORITY) WITH THEIR HANDS ON THE POTTER’S WHEEL SHAPING AND MOLDING THE CLAY????

QUESTION ((BEFORE WE GET INTO THIS PASSAGE)):

WHO DO YOU THINK [INITIALLY] IS REPRESENTATIVE “OF THE CLAY????”

WHO DO YOU THINK [INITIALLY] IS GOING TO BE SYMBOLIC “OF THE POTTER????” IN THE STORY???

(A)  ARE THE RELIGIOUS ELITE “SHOWING FORTH OF THEMSELVES, THE FRUIT(S) OF BEING HIS (PEOPLE)??? 

(B)  ARE THE RELIGIOUS ELITE MERELY INTENDED TO SUBJECT JESUS TO THEIR OWN POTTER’S WHEEL???  TO SUBJECT HIM TO MAKING HIM (CONFORMITY) THEIR MOLDABLE, PLIABLE, CHANGEABLE, FLEXIBLE “CLAY” IN THEIR OWN (POTTER’S) HANDS???? 

SERMON QUOTE:

“”MUCH OF MY LEARNING TO FOLLOW JESUS IS UN-LEARNING TO FOLLOW MYSELF.””  

—  BURK PARSONS

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LUKE 5:33-39:  “KEEPING THE MAIN THING (JESUS), THE MAIN THING”

A Question About Fasting

33 And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.”

In Matthew’s Gospel account he says “John the Baptist’s disciples” (Matthew 9:14) came to Jesus to ask this specific question of Him about fasting.

In Luke’s Gospel account here, he uses the pronoun “THEY” said to him, which makes it difficult to know who exactly the “THEY” are unless told.

What is interesting about Luke’s Gospel account, is that he directly implies in our text (Luke 5:33) that the Pharisees ALSO asked of themselves this question as well (See Mark 2:18-20).  So, apparently, some Pharisees were STILL present with Jesus when John the Baptist’s disciples came to ask this question.  So, interestingly, BOTH GROUPS TOGETHER MAY HAVE ASKED THIS QUESTION.

In the Gospel of Luke, there is a strong emphasis in the textual language of the original Greek on the phrase:  “the Pharisees fast often” (Luke 6:33; Luke 18:12)

What I love about this Gospel event, is that three of the four Gospel writers Matthew (Jews), Mark (Romans), and Luke (Greeks) give accounts to this same story (like shining facets in a diamond when held to the light).

THESE THREE GOSPEL ACCOUNTS OF THIS SAME EVENT CAN BE FOUND IN:  

  • MATTHEW 9:14-17
  • MARK 2:18-22
  • LUKE 5:33-35

THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET REAL HERE:  MARK 2:18-22

Now, in BOTH Matthew & Mark’s Gospel accounts they BOTH directly reference “the disciples of John (the Baptist) (Mark 2:18).  

It may SURPRISE some of you (!) to say this(!), but the TRUTH is (!) there were (astonishingly) SOME followers of John the Baptist WHO DID NOT (YET) TRANSFER THEIR ALLEGIANCE OR TRUST INTO JESUS (JOHN 3:30; ACTS 19:1-7)

  • John 3:30: “He must increase, I must decrease.”
    • These followers of John the Baptist had not yet themselves heeded to John the Baptist’s own personal realization about Jesus.
  • Acts 19:1-7:  If you read this in your own time, this passage, you will come to understand that in the Book of Acts (25 year later) at Ephesus (1000 miles away) there were even some of John the Baptist’s followers who were not born again by the Holy Spirit, or placed their trust and saving faith in Jesus until the days of the Apostle Paul on his Third Missionary Journey (AD 53 – AD 55), which is kind of shocking and a little bit surprising.

SO, BACK TO THE STORY:

At this time, in Jesus’ ministry in Luke 5 , we know that John the Baptist was in prison (Matthew 4:12).

WHAT IS INTERESTING IS THAT:

Their questioning Jesus about fasting — indicates they were observing the Pharisaic traditions (Matthew 9:14).

  • Matthew 9:14:  “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”
    • The basis of this question most certainly does imply that the followers of John the Baptizer were now presumably in association with, and basically observing the Pharisaic traditions.
    • Likewise, in Mark’s Gospel, he too makes mention to “the Pharisees” being there to question Jesus about fasting in Mark 2:18.
    • SO, THIS ASSOCIATION BETWEEN JOHN THE BAPTIST’S DISCIPLES & THE PHARISEES SEEMS TO INDICATE THAT BOTH GROUPS WERE LIKELY “DISTURBED” ABOUT THE PROBLEM RAISED IN LUKE 5:27-32 (IN LAST WEEK’S SERMON) BY JESUS’ EATING & ASSOCIATION WITH MATTHEW (LEVI), A TAX COLLECTOR & HIS TAX COLLECTOR FRIENDS & WITH SINNERS.

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM(!!!):  

OR, DO WE HAVE A PROBLEM???

  • (1)  Interestingly, BOTH the Pharisees (A) AND the followers of John the Baptist (B) have a problem with WHO Jesus (C) is ASSOCIATING with Sinners (D).
  • (2)  I find it interesting that the Pharisees (A) are ASSOCIATING with the followers of John the Baptist (B).
  • (3)  I do think it’s interesting that some of the followers of John the Baptist (A) are presently cozy and okay with their apparent ASSOCIATION with the Pharisees (A). 
  • (4)  And, I am not sure if you notice the irony of it all, but those most upset with Jesus chosen ASSOCIATIONS are sort of guilty themselves of doing the same thing.
  • What a truly ODD MARRIAGE or ASSOCIATION between the followers of John the Baptist and the Pharisees.

NOTE:  AT LEAST TWO (OR POSSIBLY THREE) OF JESUS DISCIPLES CAME ORIGINALLY TO JESUS AS FOLLOWERS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST:

  • CAN ANYBODY TELL ME WHO THEY (3) ARE???
    • ANDREW, THE DISCIPLE 
      • ANDREW DISCOVERED JESUS INITIALLY AS A DISCIPLE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST, ACCORDING TO (JOHN 1:35-42).
      • ANDREW IS THE BROTHER OF SIMON PETER.
      • ANDREW BROUGHT PETER TO JESUS ORIGINALLY
      • ANDREW INFAMOUSLY SAID TO SIMON PETER TO “COME & SEE” (JOHN 1:40-42)
    • JOHN, THE DISCIPLE (JESUS LOVED) 
      • JOHN WAS THERE WHEN JESUS WAS BAPTIZED BY JOHN THE BAPTIST
      • THIS IS RECORDED IN (JOHN 1:35-39)
      • JOHN, THE DISCIPLE (JESUS LOVED) WROTE HIS GOSPEL IN AD 85 – AD 90, ABOUT 50 TO 60 YEARS AFTER JESUS EARTHLY MINISTRY
      • AND HOW PRECIOUS IT IS TO REALIZE THE JOHN, THE DISCIPLE (JESUS LOVED) RECALLS THE FIRST VERY HOUR HE SAW JESUS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN JOHN 1:39) 
        • I GET EMOTIONAL EVERY TIME WITH THIS PASSAGE
        • “FOR IT WAS IN THE 10TH HOUR” (JOHN 1:39) 
    • AND POSSIBLY PHILIP, THE DISCIPLE
      • PHILIP WAS FROM THE SAME HOMETOWN AS ANDREW & PETER.
      • PHILIP WAS FROM “BETHSAIDA” IN GALILEE

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34 And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the BRIDEGROOM is with them?

SO, WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY SCRIPTURALLY ABOUT THE SUBJECT OF FASTING???

(A)  A SPIRITUAL FAST PRESCRIBED BY OLD TESTAMENT LAW:(B)  THE VERY PUBLIC, EXTERNALLY FOCUSED FASTING OF PHARISEES    (IN 1st CENTURY ISRAEL):
ONE FAST, ONCE PER YEAR ANNUALLY ON “THE DAY OF ATONEMENT (YOM KIPPUR).”FASTING IN FIRST CENTURY ISRAEL HAD A CUSTOMARY “TWICE-A-WEEK” FAST REQUIREMENT.
YOM KIPPUR, “THE DAY OF ATONEMENT” IS YET STILL TODAY KNOWN AS THE HOLIEST DAY OF THE YEAR IN THE JEWISH CALENDAR.FASTING WAS A MAJOR EXPRESSION OF ORTHODOX JUDAISM DURING JESUS’ DAY (SEE LUKE 18:9-14).

YET, THE OLD TESTAMENT ONLY PRESCRIBED ONE FAST, AND THAT WAS ONCE A YEAR, ANNUALLY ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT (SEE LEVITICUS 16:29-31; LEVITICUS 23:27).

(1)  If the Law of God in the OT prescribed only one fast per year

(2)  But, the Pharisees were said “to fast often..” (Lk 6:33; Lk 18:12)

  (3)  What would your conclusion(s) or thoughts about the Pharisees be???

– Legalistic?  Zealous?  Driven?  Overachievers?  A-Type?  Uptight?

(4)  So, WHO is it exactly that ISN’T following the Law given???

(5)  The problem my friends with fasting, in this instance, was NOT with Jesus; but instead with the Pharisees who had re-interpreted the Law to mean “fast often,” and then hold everybody else to [that] standard!

WE ALSO KNOW FOR A FACT THAT JESUS FAITHFULLY OBSERVED, THE DAY OF ATONEMENT EACH YEAR ANNUALLY, AS WELL AS THE OBSERVANCES OF ALL THE OTHER SACRED JEWISH HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS OF THE CALENDAR YEAR.  

SO, TO PUT IT MILDLY SOME OF THESE FALSE ACCUSATIONS & BASELESS CLAIMS OF “THROWING SHADE” AT JESUS (BY THE PHARISEES) SHOULDN’T BE TAKEN ALL TOO SERIOUSLY.


IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE SOME CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT JESUS & FASTING: 

– We know for a fact that JESUS DID FAST ON AT LEAST ONE OCCAISON (MATTHEW 4:2)

  • LET US NOT FORGET THE FACT THAT JESUS WENT INTO THE JUDEAN DESERT AND FASTED FOR 40 DAYS & NIGHTS!!!
    • THAT AIN’T BAD!!!
    • MATTHEW 4:2:  SAYS, “After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.”

IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE: 

WHILE PUBLICLY, IT MAY HAVE APPEARED AS IF JESUS NEVER FASTED;             PERHAPS, JESUS FASTED OFTEN “PRIVATELY” & “DISCREETLY,”                                  IN ACCORDANCE WITH HIS OWN TEACHINGS (IN MATTHEW 6:16-18).

THIS APPEARS TO BE THE BEST & MOST CONSISTENT WAY TO THINK ABOUT JESUS & FASTING:

(3)  SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT LET’S READ (MATTHEW 6:16-18):

(MATTHEW 6:16-18):  

(V 16) “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others.  Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  (V 17) “But when you (Christ followers) fast, anoint your head and wash your face, (V 18) that your fasting may NOT be seen by others BUT by your Father who is in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

JESUS IS ON OFFENSE:THE PHARISEES ON DEFENSE:
WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT ALL OTHER FASTS IN THE JEWISH LAW WERE [SUPPOSED] TO BE VOLUNTARY.  So, there is literally absolutely nothing in accordance with the Law that Jesus is [supposedly] in violation of, or at risk of doing!!!THE FACT THAT THE PHARISEES RAISED THIS QUESTION WITH JESUS SHOWS THAT THEY THOUGHT OF FASTING AS A “PUBLIC EXTERNALLY FOCUSED EXERCISE” (A PEDASTAL) FOR THE PURPOSE OF DISPLAYING ONE’S OWN EXTERNAL MORALITY, SELF-RIGHTEOUS LEGALISM AND SPIRITUALITY.
All other voluntary fasts were for specific reasons one may choose to fast, such as for penitence and earnest prayer.  So, Jesus is in the clear.YET, THE OLD TESTAMENT ALSO STRONGLY REBUKED THIS TYPE OF “HYPOCRITICAL FASTING” (FOUND IN ISAIAH 58:3-6) WHICH AT THEIR PRESENT TRAJECTORY THEY, THE PHARISEES WERE INCHING EVERSO CLOSELY TO BEING IN DIRECT VIOLATION OF THEMSELVES IF NOT ALREADY!

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35 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”

“THEN THEY WILL FAST” (MATTHEW 9:15):

Jesus is using the analogy “of a wedding party celebration” to with great skill and wisdom TO ANSWER THE # 1 QUESTION THEY SHOULD BE ASKING…  

AND, WHAT IS THE QUESTION THEY SHOULD BE ASKING???  

  • HINT # 1:  IF JESUS IS THE BRIDEGROOM…
  • HINT # 2:  AND THE BRIDEGROOM HAS COME…
  • HINT # 3:  SHOULDN’T SOMEONE BE ASKING THE QUESTION…

“JESUS, ARE YOU THE BRIDEGROOM???”

My brothers & sisters, is it “FACT” or “FICTION” that 

THE BRIDEGROOM” OF THE OLD TESTAMENT HAS COME?!?!?!  

Yes, JESUS is the Bridegroom who has come; 

and somehow people missed it! 

People missed His First Coming in the same way

some people may someday miss His Second Coming!

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SO, IN “KEEPING THE MAIN THING (JESUS), THE MAIN THING”:

LET ME ATTEMPT TO SIMPLIFY A LITTLE ABOUT [“WHY”] JESUS IS USING SUCH A REMARKABLE “IMAGERY” & “ANALOGY” OF “A BRIDEGROOM” & “A WEDDING CELEBRATION”BECAUSE [[JESUS’ PRIMARY POINT]] OF EMPHASIS IS THAT ALL OF THE RELIGIOUS RITUAL(S) PRACTICED BY JOHN THE BAPTIST’S DISCIPLES & THE PHARISEES WERE “COMPLETELY OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY”!!!

AND THAT’S PERHAPS THATS THE BITTER TRUTH!!!

THE RELIGIOUS ELITE IN ISRAEL HAVE GOD, VERY GOD, RIGHT UNDER THE TIP OF THEIR OWN NOSES!… 

THE ANNOINTED ONE!… THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL!… IN THEIR PRESENCE!… IN THEIR MIDST!… 

AND AS SHOCKING AS IT MAY APPEAR… 

[THEIR} IMMENSE “SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS” SIMPLY WILL NOT ALLOW THEM TO SEE IT… 

OR HEAR HIS VOICE…

  • CAN YOU SORT OF RELATE, AT ONE POINT OR ANOTHER?!?!?!
  • MY BROTHERS & SISTERS, “I SURE CAN RELATE!!!”
  • I SURE DO REMEMBER “ONCE [FORMERLY] BEING DEAD IN [MY] TRESPASSES & SINS” (EPHESIANS 2:1)

A COMPARISON OF REVELATION OF “THE BRIDEGROOM” IN THE OLD & NEW TESTAMENT (R.C. SPROUL QUOTE ON “THE NEW WINE SKINS IN MARK 2:13-22):

“Nowhere in the [Old Testament], Beloved, does the Bible refer to “the Messiah” as BRIDEGROOM.  THAT image(ry) just ISN’T there!!  “The Bridegroom” in the [Old Testament] IS GOD!!  And “The Bride” IS THE NATION OF ISRAEL!!  But, in the [New Testament] “the Bridegroom” IS THE SON OF GOD!!  And “The Bride” IS HIS CHURCH!!  And so again, JESUS IS CLAIMING MORE THAN “His Messiahship” here – WHEN HE REFERS TO HIMSELF AS THE BRIDEGROOM!!  He is saying, “I’M THE SON OF GOD!!”  And when “I AM HERE” (in context to this passage) “AND, WHILE I AM HERE” BRINGING TO YOU THE KINGDOM, and as long as THE BRIDEGROOM is in YOUR PRESENCE — THIS IS THE TIME YOU PEOPLE SHOULD BE [CELEBRATING]!!!  NOT FASTING!!!  BECAUSE THE KINGDOM HAS COME!!!  AND I AM IN YOUR MIDST!!!”  AMEN.  

R.C. SPROUL GOES ON TO FURTHER POINT OUT WHAT JESUS IS SAYING ABOUT THE TIME WHEN LATER ON “THE BRIDEGROOM, IS BEING TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM”:  

“OH, SO YOU MEAN TO SAY THAT WE ARE NOT ALWAYS GOING TO HAVE THE BRIDEGROOM AMONGST US???  YES!!! The Day is Coming… when the BRIDEGROOM will be snatched away from you… He (Jesus) is obviously referring to His own execution and departure from this planet!!  Then, HE (meaning Jesus) SAID!!  THEN, my friends, will be the time to fast!!!  But, “WHILE I’M HERE“!!!  IT’S TIME TO FEAST!!!”  

THIS TRULY IS SUCH A REMARKABLE METAPHOR THAT WE HAVE HERE…

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HERE IS A PRECIOUS WORD OF SCRIPTURE THAT COMES TO MIND AFTER READING R.C. SPOUL’S REFLECTION ABOUT OUR GREAT AND WONDERFUL “THE BRIDEGROOM” [IN THE PRESENCE] OF “HIS BELOVED”:

IN YOUR PRESENCE IS THE FULLNESS OF JOY (PSALM 16:11):

AND LET ME SAY THIS, IN TESTIMONY ABOUT OUR LORD!!!

PSALM 16:11 SAYS:

“You make known to me the path of Life;
    in Your Presence is the Fullness of Joy;
    at your Right hand are pleasures Forevermore!”

LET THAT BE A BLANKET OF PEACE UPON YOU TODAY!

So, Jesus pronounces boldly, to all those making inquiry THAT AS LONG AS HE, THE BRIDEGROOM, WAS PRESENT WITH THEM — THERE WAS TOO MUCH JOY & CELEBRATING TO BE FOCUSED JUST ON FASTING!!!

PLEASE NOTE:  

IN JESUS TIME, “FASTING” WAS CONNECTED TO SEASONS OF SORROW AND INTENSE PRAYER, TIMES OF GREAT SPIRITUAL PETITIONING & NEED, AND SOMETIMES MOURNING.

PLEASE NOTE ADDITIONALLY (DROPPING A TRUTH BOMB):  

IF SPIRITUAL FASTING & PRAYER HAD IN FACT GIVEN THE PHARISEES “NEW SPIRITUAL EYES TO SEE” J-E-S-U-S FOR ALL HE IS!!! 

AS KING OF KINGS(!) & LORD OF LORDS(!)

THAN WHY ARE THEY [PHARISEES] SO BLIND “TO SEE” WHO JESUS IS AND CLAIMS TO BE, RIGHT BEFORE THEIR VERY EYES?!?!?!  AMEN. 

“THE FRIENDS OF THE BRIDEGROOM FAST” (MARK 2:19):

I believe “the friends of the BRIDEGROOM” in Jesus’ illustration is specifically refering to His (12) Disciples (THE CHOSEN) and ALL others who intimately, faithfully have “FOLLOWED” AFTER THE CHRIST, THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!

It is [THESE] special “attendants the Bridegroom” JESUS sovereignly “CHOSEN” and selected to carry out the wedding festivities of His earthly ministry.

AND, OBVIOUSLY THIS INCLUDES, MATTHEW (LEVI), THE FORMER, TREASONOUS TAX COLLECTOR AND [FORMER] SERVANT OF ROME!

“THE BRIDEGROOM (JESUS), BEING TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM” (MARK 2:20):

The inference that JESUS “WILL BE TAKEN AWAY” (IN THE GREEK) is one that is of “A SUDDEN REMOVAL” or of a “BEING SNATCHED AWAY VIOLENTLY” –>> THIS IS AN OBVIOUS A VERY EARLY PROPHETIC GLIMPSE INTO JESUS’ KNOWING [FORETELLING] THAT HE HAS BEEN BORN TO DIE A SACRIFICIAL LAMB… TO TAKE AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD… THAT HE KNOWS [ALREADY] OF HIS BETRAYAL, CAPTURE, ARREST & CRUCIFIXION.

ISN’T THIS AMAZING?!?!  IN A VERY SURREAL SENSE!!!  I MEAN, JESUS IS STILL IN THE PROCESS AT THIS TIME OF SELECTING HIS DISCIPLES & CALLING THEM TO “FOLLOW HIM.”

THIS PROFOUND PROPHETIC REFERENCE (Mark 2:20) BY JESUS also seems to indicate that “THEN” INDEED “[THEY] WILL FAST” AT THE “APPROPRIATE TIME” BEFORE IT HAS EVEN YET HAPPENED!!!

JESUS KNOWS IN HIS SOVEREIGN FOREKNOWLEDGE THAT IS Disciples will SCATTER, HIDE, FLEE, DENY (Peter) & BETRAY (Judas) HIM (Jesus) 

For there WILL BE a time for MOURNING, AND A GREAT SPIRITUAL NEED FOR HIM (for REFUGE & SHELTER) IN [[THEIR]] LIVES at the time of His Crucifixion.  

THE NEXT DAY AFTER HIS DEATH [SATURDAY], 

IS GOING TO BE INCREDIBLY DARK!

((AND JESUS REALIZES THIS — ALREADY!!!))

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36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.

FOR HE WHO HAS EARS TO HEAR:

I AM NOW GOING TO CAREFULLY PREFACE THIS BY SAYING:  FOR “HE WHO HAS EARS TO HEAR” — IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE MATTERS IN THIS NEXT PORTION OF THIS SERMON.  NO JOKE.  THIS IS REALLY WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD AND WE GET TO THE TRUE HEART OF THE MATTER.  THIS IS “THE REAL MEAT AND POTATOES.” 

THE SUBJECT OF FASTING WAS THE FOCUS OF CONCENTRATION BY THE DISCIPLES OF JOHN THE BAPTIST AND THE PHARISEES WHO CAME TO HIM.

BUT, THE SUBJECT AND TOPIC OF FASTING WAS THE FURTHEST FROM JESUS’ MIND AS HE INTERACTED WITH THEM.

WHAT WAS INCREDIBLY NEEDED (PARAMOUNT) BY “THE HEARERS” WITHIN EARSHOT OF JESUS’ VOICE WAS “NEWNESS OF LIFE,” // “HUMILITY” // “RE-BIRTH,” // “REGENERATION,” // “REPENTANCE,” // “RECONCILIATION WITH GOD,” // “THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS,” // “REDEMPTION,” // “THE HEALING TOUCH OF A PHYSICIAN,” // “RESCUE FROM OUR SIN NATURE,” // “SPIRITUAL SIGHT” // SPIRITUAL “EYES TO SEE” // SPIRITUAL “EARS TO HEAR” HIS VOICE

SO, THE BRIDEGROOM BEGINS TO TELL (2) TWO SPIRITUAL (YET SIMPLE) PARABLES: 

Jesus tells two separate parables about the new garment, and the old wineskins.  Both parables are told with the same express purpose and interpretive meaning.  

Personally speaking, I think Jesus uses both example(s) of “the new garment,” and “the old wineskins” to double down, and make His point TWICE for point of emphasis.  

Jesus want’s his audience to firmly grasp and receive His NEW teaching, about what He is saying!  

For do you remember the Scripture (2 Peter 3:9), “The LORD is patient with you, not willing that anyone should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.” 

INTRO TO THE NEW GARMENT PATCH & THE OLD WINESKINS:

In the ancient world, a “wineskin” was like that of an ancient “container” made of animal skin, usually that of a goat, used to transport or carry liquids such as water, olive oil, milk, wine, butter or even cheese.

We know historically as a fact that “wineskins” being used as far back as into the 3rd Centuries B.C.  The first known use of “wineskins” in the ancient world was in Ancient Greece.

And global economies as far away as China in the ancient world were known to have imported liquids in wineskins from Ancient Mesopotamia (the Middle East) to / from Asia.

THE PARABLE (MEANING) OF THE NEW PATCH & OLD GARMENT:

The truest meaning (application) to interpreting this Parable about “the unshrunk cloth on an old garment” (Matthew 9:16) is that THE NEW CLOTH SIMPLY [DOES NOT] WORK ON OLD MATERIAL (Matthew 9:16). 

THRU USE OF THIS ANALOGY, JESUS IS TELLING PEOPLE – TO “STOP” “TRYING” UNSUCCESSFULLY TO PATCHING HIS NEW COVENANT TRUTH & REALITIES ONTO OLD MOSAIC CEREMONIAL FORMS, AND RITUALS (THE TYPES & SHADOWS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT]!!!

IN OTHER WORDS, [JESUS IS SAYING]] IT’S SIMPLY NOT GOING TO WORK THE SAME WAY AS IT ONCE DID.  WHY?!?!?!  BECAUSE WHAT JESUS IS DOING PERSONALLY [HIS FINISHED WORK] IS “FAR MORE SUPERIOR” AND “BETTER” TO THAT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT TYPES & SHADOWS.

HEBREWS 8:6-8:  TALKS POWERFULLY TO JESUS CHRIST, ESTABLISHING “A MUCH BETTER & FAR MORE SUPERIOR” NEW ETERNAL COVENANT, THAN IS, IN THE CASE OF THE OLD COVENANT WHICH HE HAS PERFECTLY “FULFILLED.”

ISAIAH 43:19:  

“SEE, I AM DOING A NEW THING.  DO YOU NOT PERCEIVE IT?  NOW, IT SPRINGS UP LIKE STREAMS AND SPRINGS OF WATER IN A DRY WASTELAND.”  (ISAIAH 43:19)

THE BIBLE ACTUALLY SPEAKS ALOT INTO THE IDEA OF HIS HEAVENLY GLORY, HIS SPIRIT & HIS PRESENCE BEING “CONTAINED”:

HERE ARE A FEW SCRIPTURAL EXAMPLES OF “EARTHEN VESSELS “SET APART” AS HOLY FOR HIS USE OF DWELLING:

THE TENT OF TABERNACLE AT SHILOHTHE FIRST & SECOND TEMPLES IN JERUSALEMTHE ARK OF THE COVENANT & THE HOLY OF HOLIES

HERE ARE A FEW SCRIPTURAL EXAMPLES OF “EARTHEN VESSELS” FOR EVERY DAY USE AS SPIRITUAL CONTAINERS:

MOSES’ THE ROD OF HIS SPIRIT:  “THE ROD OF GOD” (EXODUS 17:9)WATERING WELLS & BROKEN CISTERNS (JEREMIAH 2:13)JARS OF CLAY, EARTHEN VESSELS(2 COR 4:7)
JACOB’S WELL:  THE WELL OF LIVING WATER FOR THE SAMARITAN WOMAN (JOHN 4)THE “EMPTY, UNLIVED HOUSE” WHERE DEMONS TOOK UP RESIDENCE (MATTHEW 12)THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES (EZEKIEL 37:1-14):  HIS SPIRIT CRYING, CALLING OUT “TO COME ALIVE AGAIN!”
MY PERSONAL FAVORITE:  HE IS THE VINE & WE ARE THE BRANCHES.  ABIDE IN ME & I IN YOU..FOR APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING.  FOR IN HIM WE BEAR MUCH FRUIT (JOHN 15:1-10)ABIDEABODEDWELLREMAINTHE KEY IDEA:  IS LIKE IN O.T. TENTS

“My people have committed two sins:  They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”  (JEREMIAH 2:13)

  • The problem in this passage is not a shortage of water; or there being no water at all.  
  • The very real main problem is that the cisterns (the watering system mechanics itself) are broken.
  • The broken cisterns simply [“cannot”] hold water.
  • Therefore, even if there IS water in the well, the system that carries THAT water is broken too.  Yeah, and that’s a significant problem!

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.” (2 CORINTHIANS 4:7)

At Jacob’s Well in Sychar:  JESUS says, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you LIVING WATER.”  (John 4:10).

DO YOU SMELL WHAT I AM COOKING???  MORE IMPORTANTLY, DO YOU SEE WHAT SCRIPTURE(S) ARE SAYING THRU-OUT???

THE KING OF HEAVEN WANT TO INDWELL & PERSONALLY RESIDE IN YOU!!!

Jesus Promises Living Water:

37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to Me! 38 Anyone who believes in Me may come and drink!  For the Scriptures declare, “Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”[a] 39 (When He said “Living Water,” He was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in Him.  But the Spirit had not yet been given,[b] because Jesus had not yet entered into His Glory.”  (John 7:37-39)

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37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.

Jesus gave two very clear parables to illustrate a same or similar interpretive meaning.

BOTH PARABLES CLEARLY MEAN THAT:

His new and internal Gospel (The “Good News”) of repentance from and forgiveness of sin could NOT be connected to or contained in the old, former, and external traditions, interpretations of the Law (OLD TESTAMENT) of manmade self-righteousness and ritualistic observance (See Matthew 9:17 & Mark 2:21).

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38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.

“NEW WINE SKINS” (MARK 2:22):

In the First Century, everybody would have known (from use of these parables), exactly what it is that Jesus was talking about in contemporary terms:

“New Wine Skins” would mean, “newly made,” and “unused wineskins” — always produced the best necessary strength and elasticity to hold up to the fermentation process, as the wine in the wineskin fermented and expanded (Mark 2:22).”

“THE NEW WINE” INTO “NEW WINE SKINS” (MATTHEW 9:17):

MEANS THAT BY DESIGN THESE “ANIMAL SKIN” [CONTAINERS] COULD IN FACT HANDLE THE NATURAL FERMENTATION PROCESS OF A NEW WINE BEING CONTAINED WITHIN A NEW WINE SKIN – BECAUSE OF IT’S NATURAL PLIABILITY, ELASTICITY, “FLEXIBLE DISPOSITION” AND “ABILITY TO ADAPT TO PRESSURE AND CHANGE.”  

AS NEW WINE IN NEW SKINS CAN CONTINUALLY HANDLE THE “BUILDING PRESSURES” OF STRETCHING, GROWING, TRANSFORMING IN SCOPE, SHAPE AND SIZE.

FOLLOWING HIM, IS DEFINATELY NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART [CONSIDER THE COST / DENY YOURSELF / PICK UP YOUR CROSS / AND FOLLOW HIM]!!!

THE UNWISE “DESTRUCTIVE” DECISION OF PUTTING “A NEW WINE IN AN OLD WINE SKIN”:

ON THE OTHER HAND, WHEN A “NEW WINE” WAS PLACED IN CONTRAST INTO AN “OLD WINESKIN” — TAKE A GOOD COUPLE OF “STEPS BACK” AND “WATCH OUT!!!” 

WOWZAHS!!!  “WHAT A HOT MESS!!!”

THE MAIN CRUX OF THE PROBLEM IN THIS CASE IS THAT A PREVIOUSLY STRETCHED OUT “OLD WINE SKIN” WILL ALWAYS LACK THE ELASTICITY IT WILL NEED, AND IT WILL ULTIMATELY RUPTURE AND BREAK – COMPLETELY RUINING AND DESTROYING [BOTH] THE CONTENTS OF THE NEW WINE AND THE UNPLIABLE, OLD WINESKIN.

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39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good (better).’”

Luke, the Gospel writer is the only Gospel author out of the three recorded accounts (Mathew, Mark & Luke) to mention the phrase:  “The old is better.”  

It’s actually quite intriguing what this phrase “The old is better” really means when properly understood.  

It really is quite powerful to what Luke is saying.  

Basically, of what Luke means when saying [some people STILL yet declare, “The old is better” when personally encountering, “JESUS, THE LIVING CHRIST – GOD, VERY GOD” IS THAT:  

“Of those who had acquired a taste for Old Testament Covenant ceremonies and Pharisaic traditions were loath (reluctant or unwilling) to give them up — for the New Wine of Jesus’ teachings!!!  ((ISN’T THAT CRAZY?!?!?!  —  WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT?!?!?!)  Such persons were quite literally analogous to being themselves a bunch of Old Wineskins!!!  WOW!!!

IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THESE THINGS!!!

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CONCLUDING REMARKS (BEGINNING OUR DESCENT AND “LANDING THE PLANE”):

So it is, Jesus was using this analogy / reality as an illustration to teach that the forms of old rituals, such as the ceremonial “fasting’s” practiced by the Pharisees and John the Baptist’s disciples (THE FORMER THINGS), WERE “NOT” FIT FOR THE NEWNESS OF THE NEW WINE AND NEW WINE SKIN OF THE NEW COVENANT ERA (Colossians 2:17).

AND, IN THE SENSE OF BOTH ANALOGIES JESUS GAVE of the NEW CLOTH and the NEW WINE IN WINESKINS [is Jesus’ wise way of saying, what] THE PHARISEES DID IN FASTING OR ANY OTHER O.T. RITUAL HAD [“N-O-!!!”] PART IN OR WITH THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!!!

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FINAL CONCLUDING REMARKS (APPLICATIONS)

(1)  OUR PERSONAL VISIT TO SHILOH, ISRAEL:

(2)  WHAT IS FAR MORE SUPERIOR THAN A PERSONAL VISIT TO SHILOH IS OUR NEW COVENANT PROMISE AND DAILY REALITY OF HIM LIVING IN OUR HEARTS TODAY.  HE LIVES IN US (THOSE OF US WHO ARE BELIEVERS IN CHRIST).  

(3)  (WE) TODAY, NOW, ARE THE TEMPLE TENTS WHERE HE NOW INDWELLS PERSONALLY!!!  THERE IS NO NEED AS MUCH TO GO PHYSICALLY TO SHILOH OR THE TEMPLE MOUNT IN JERUSALEM, IF HE TAKES RESIDENCE IN OUR LIVES NOW!!!  HOW COOL IS THAT???

A CALL OF INVITATION TO COME:

(4)  JEREMIAH 18:6:  A CALL TO CORPORATELY REFLECT, MEDITATE & PERSONALLY RESPOND AT HIS ALTER WITH “THE BLOCK / MASS OF CLAY” TO TAKE HOME WITH THEMSELVES.

CLOSING:

6 He said, “CAN I NOT DO WITH YOU, ISRAEL, AS THIS POTTER DOES?” declares the LORD. “LIKE CLAY IN THE HAND OF THE POTTER, SO ARE YOU IN MY HAND, ISRAEL.”