Jesus says you need to put new wine into new wineskin. First he says if you have a new piece of cloth, don't use old garment. And if you have new wine, don't put it in old wineskin - the old garment, old wineskin will break. Instead, put new wine into new wineskin so that both stay intact. Let's put the passage into context - Matthew 9:14
We see that Jesus is having a discussion on fasting. Disciples John Baptist and Pharisees fast, but the disciples of Jesus don't. Is Jesus against fasting? We know that this is not the case.
Look at Matthew 6:16-18Jesus is giving advice on fasting, to do it with holiness not just putting ash. Fasting is not about showing off to other people, making sure other people know about it.
The Lord emphasizes that personal relationship with God, it is not trying to show off that relation others. As we live our lives of faith, need to take that to heart. What is our own relation to God?Not important what others think about our relationship with God. It's about the core of our hearts, our loving relationship with Father God. Our acts of piety - praying, fasting, giving to needy - these should done in private. We should focus on our personal relationship with him.
But still, back in main passage, it's clear that traditional Jews are fasting much more than disciples. Essentially, it is saying that disciples are not acting pious enough, not reading Bible, praying enough. Have you ever fallen into this type of thinking? Or maybe you think in the opposite way - maybe I am not pious enough? I'm not doing enough. If so, then we should look at today's passage more carefully. We need to look at this answer of Jesus gives for people thinking of this way.
In v15 - Jesus first talks about bridegroom, then in main passage it's about garment, wineskin. v16-17- What is Jesus saying? The parable of bridegroom often used to speak about Jesus Christ himself. Being with Jesus, being in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a wedding banquet, feast and all. The Lord is saying that my disciples are the new wine in the Kingdom of God. The traditional Jews are like old wine, there is a difference between old and stale wine, and new wine. It's like there is a big different between new and flat soda right?
When you combine this thought back with the question on fasting, who fasts at a wedding banquet? Have you ever been to a wedding? Weddings are joyous occasions, nice, expensive foods too. Jews would celebrate weddings for days, with plenty of wine and food. But what if you showed up to the wedding and you said you were fasting. Its summer time, many bbq, people celebrating with friends and family but what if you went fasted. Would look strange right? Everyone else is eating, having fun, you are just there in the corner. So the disciples of Jesus are with their bridegroom, they are happy and joyous like a wedding banquet. It is a fundamentally different time for them - not time to fast, but a time to celebrate.
As we listen to this message today, we need to think about what kind of people should we be? More than being pious, holy people, it's about being passionate overflowing with grace. We should be like new wine, bubble overflowing with grace. What kind of church should we be? We should be a church that has people full of passion for God. God's grace should emanate from us, and this vitality should be felt as presence in our church. Look at the situation Jesus is facing at that time, new disciples, new group w/ Jesus has come out. They are entering a time, when there are many groups of traditionalist Jews, many pious and fasting. Amidst this, there is some tension between the two groups, so that is why Jesus using parable explain. Jesus is explaining that those with the savior Jesus are like new wine.
This is how the image of the disciples of Jesus need to be like - like new wine, overflowing power. In one respect, that is why our church should always embrace new members into church. New members bring new energy, new hope, passion, vision that we embrace, church is new. We must have this passion for Kingdom of God, dream of the KOG overflowing inside of us. Our church needs to be new, flexible, to contain it - like a new wineskin able to hold new wine.
Its great that we have so many students in our church, recently had a graduation even. We cannot have a stale image, lost inside of the drudgery of the world - this is what world does. It beats us down, as we get older more entrenched in the world, we become lost in the world. We need that passion to do God's work, and build his kingdom.
Actually, when you think, this heated passion exists in the world, but often directed in the wrong place. You know, at a concert, there is a pop artist, they get ten thousands to fill stadium. So many people are passionate for the pop artist - they even faint, become overheated for them. When you think about it, that is how much passion a Christian needs for Jesus Christ. Jesus is our bridegroom, our love for him, our passion, we should overflow in this joy and grace.
How can we always have this? We need to put our focus on Jesus Christ have a heated passion for the Lord. We become stale, lost in the world, when we lose our focus, lose Jesus Christ as center of our lives. Need to put JC at the center, have a heated passion to work for him, have his cross embedded in us.
Look at the Jews, they gathered all the time to worship, fasted all the time. But there was something missing, had the form outside, lacked heart inside. They had the old wineskin around them. When the bridegroom, Messiah came to them, that old wineskin cracked. They rejected him, fear positions, crucified Jesus. It was supposed to be a great celebration, but instead sinful nature trying to block with law, came out. We should not be like this, we should not let our church fall into this.
We should not just fall into traditionalism. Cannot be a place where the bridegroom, Jesus is missing, passion for Jesus is missing. Our image should be like Jesus, serve the church, be full of love and abundant and plentiful.
People who volunteer for church are so precious. they make it a place overflowing with grace. Church is not a business, not built with employees and customer service. Church is a place where the members come together, serve to build, make it overflow in grace. Grace comes from the heart, and comes when we serve God. Church must be place we serve.
We must be like new wine, overflowing in God's grace. Energy overflows, like a banquet, we should dance and sing, we should have joy, grace God's Word. When we have Jesus, we won't become stale, we will always have this. When bridge meeting bridegroom on wedding day, there is always trembling heart. We need that trembling heart as we come to church and meet Jesus . Coming to church, prepare trembling heart, thinking about banquet to come. That is when we are new wine coming into the new wineskin.