Thursday, March 25, 2010

Things I Never Noticed in the Bible

New Wine

In Luke 5 Jesus tells the Pharisees that you must not sew new patches on old clothes. Also, that you must not put new wine into old wine skins. In the past, I have generally tried to understand these statements as sort of stand alone statements relating vaguely to the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.

Of course, it does relate that way but it is not general. Jesus gives several specific examples of how it relates.

1. Jesus eats with tax-collectors and sinners Luke 5:29-32. Thus, the holiness code and the ceremonial law is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. This has ramifications all over the place. The Pharisees hate this. They want an easy to follow code, not the messiness of dealing with sinners and tax collectors.

2. The importance of fasting for spiritual benefit, renewal, holiness, etc. is dramatically changed. Luke 5:33-35. Jesus fed the disciples, they ate and drank. The time for fasting when Jesus is taken away is the time of His death and perhaps also the time from the Ascension to Pentecost. I do not believe it is the time between first and second coming. Jesus is with us now in the Holy Spirit.
The Pharisees cannot point to their fasting as spiritual maturity when they always neglect the weighty elements of the law.

3. Jesus gathers food and eats on the Sabbath, Luke 6:1-5. The Pharisees' view of the Sabbath was a mess. Jesus teaches them that the Sabbath was made for man to give him life. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath and is Himself the Sabbath.

So, the new wine skins was a new way of doing things. Some of this was reformation but what Jesus really instituted was transformation. Men needed to be new and their old way of doing things, including the way that they did religion, would not work any more.

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