Luke 5:33-39 ~ Some people said to Jesus, “John’s followers often pray and go without eating, and so do the followers of the Pharisees. But your disciples never go without eating or drinking.” Jesus told them, “The friends of a bridegroom don’t go without eating while he is still with them. But the time will come when he will be taken from them. Then they will go without eating.” Jesus then told them these sayings: No one uses a new piece of cloth to patch old clothes. The patch would shrink and make the hole even bigger. No one pours new wine into old wineskins. The new wine would swell and burst the old skins. Then the wine would be lost, and the skins would be ruined. New wine must be put only into new wineskins. No one wants new wine after drinking old wine. They say, “The old wine is better.”
This passage was a challenge for me, but I felt God tugging at my heart to do the research and understand its meaning. I was truly amazed! Those that were observing Jesus and His disciples had the opportunity to ask Him about why He was so different than anything they had known in the past. Jesus basically told them here that regardless of what John the Baptist did, or the Pharisees did, they were now observing ‘the real thing’! Jesus came so that all the old myths and practices might be clarified, corrected or at least understood (if they led to Him). I see two challenges here in thinking about how this applies to us today:
- From the standpoint of the non-Christian – they will look at church activities and the ways that we represent Christ and they may wonder why we are so different. This is a challenge for them, because they are convinced that what they are doing is perfectly OK, so they will question why would Jesus do certain things or why would we do certain things that seem so opposite to what they believe;
- From the standpoint of the church/Christian – If we never change our ways and become more like Jesus, we are mismatching a ‘New’ way with our ‘Old’ ways and trying to make both ways work together. It doesn’t happen that way friend. We must separate ourselves from our ‘Old’ ways, because Jesus would have us follow Him, and I guarantee you that none of us were following Him and His example before we accepted Him as Lord of our lives. Furthermore, if we are to be the hands, lips and actions of Christ extended to a lost world, they will not be affected or touched by someone acting, doing and saying the same things that they do and say. If we claim to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and if we have accepted Jesus as Lord of our life the Bible says that His Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us, then we are to act, do and speak like Jesus would, and this would definitely be different to the everyday actions that are evident in our world. This is one reason why the church must be careful in trying to do things like the world is used to seeing them done, for if they see no difference they will see no reason to change. Yes, Jesus was different. Yes, we must be different if we are representing Jesus. He’s our mentor, our model and our example. Let’s truly follow Jesus so that our world may be impacted for Christ!
Father, thank You for speaking through Your Word, even when passages sometime seem hard to understand. May I be a true example of You today so that You may receive glory, and so that others may want to know the Savior that I love and adore. It is so easy to fall back into our old ways, but Father as we seek You daily I pray that You will create a clean heart within us and a renewed will to follow Your example and to show the world that there is a better way, and that they too can be a member of Your family and live the glorious life that is ours in knowing that You take care of our every concern and that this life only leads to a happier and more satisfying life to come – with You in Heaven.