TEXT14 One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why don’t your disciples fastlike we do and the Pharisees do?” 15 Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 “Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before. 17 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”
There is a T.V. show called Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I have never seen the show personally but I did read about it and I have a video clip. A crew of builders and designers ride a bus across country and they renovate houses for families. Some of these families have suffered tragedies, some have fallen on hard times but long story short–this team comes in and with the help of neighbors, they complete renovate the house. They put the family in a motel for a week while they are working and then on show day, they bring them in a limo to the home site but they do not allow them to look at the house. They position them behind their huge bus which blocks their view of the newly renovated house, then the neighbors begin to chant…”Move that bus…move that bus” and when they move the bus, the family sees the home for the first time. I think the team leader is a man by the name of Todd and he does something new, fresh and creative with each house. Let’s look at the clip. http://youtu.be/9g0J5aK9wZY
I like the concept of creating something unique from each new location and project. Our God is not a duplicator, He is a creator. This reminds me of II Corinthians 5:17, If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! Jesus did not come to patch us up; He came to make us a new creation. The segment begins with the disciples of John the Baptist asking Jesus a question…Why don’t Your disciples fast like we do and the Pharisees? Jesus answer is classic…Do the guest at a wedding celebration fast? And then He answers His own question…Of course not, but some day the bridegroom will be taken from them, and then they will fast. Jesus did not say it was wrong to fast but he simply said, don’t do it out of season and don’t do it for the wrong reason. Then He went on to say, “You don’t patch old clothing with new material unless you want to end up with a bigger tear. You don’t put new wine in an old wine skin unless you want it to burst.” Jesus is saying, I did not come to patch up Judaism, I came to give you something new.
I understand that Jesus is all we need but the Jews had a hard time with this truth and so did the disciples of John but look closely with me at what Jesus is actually saying to them…
1. I AM HERE…I AM THE BRIDEGROOM…IT IS NOT THE SEASON TO FAST
Jesus was standing right in front of them…Hey fellows, I AM here, the Bridegroom, it is not the time to fast. You guys are not with it, you are going to get left behind. You are lost in your ritual but you are missing reality. Right now, you need to be enjoying the company of the Bridegroom. My disciples will fast someday but this is not the season.
I am fairly certain the disciples fasted the day Jesus was crucified. I imagine the horror of Jesus trail and crucifixion took their appetite. There is a time and season to fast. The Pharisees were not properly motivated and the same could be said for the disciples of John: they fasted but for the wrong reason. The sad truth is that the religious Jews did not recognize the presence of the BRIDEGROOM. Jesus disciples had recognized His deity. They believed that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. The religious Jews thought he was a teacher at best, a blasphemer and demon at worse. They refused to accept His deity. In John’s gospel, Chapter 20, verse 31, we read… but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. It is absolutely essential that you believe that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God. You cannot be saved unless you confess and believe that Jesus is God’s Son. I John 4:15 reads…Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. I John 5:12… He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. You have to confess that Jesus is the Son of God. Look at the cast of characters who recognized Jesus as the Son of God.
- Gabriel announced it….“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. [Luke 1:35]
- The Demons shouted it… Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ. [Luke 4:41]
- John the Baptist testified to it…”I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” [John 1:34]
- Nathanael saw it… Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” [John 1:49]
- Martha believed it…“Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.” [John 11:27]
- Peter confessed it…“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” [Matthew 16:16]
- The Roman Centurion said it…”Truly, this man was the Son of God.” [Matthew 27:54]
- The Ethiopian Eunuch declared it…“I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
- Paul preached it…I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. [Galatians 2:20]
Based on scripture, I do not see any possible way a person can be saved from their sins and hell unless they believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
2. I AM HERE BUT I AM NOT HERE TO PATCH UP SOMETHING OLD…I AM HERE TO BRING YOU SOMETHING NEW AND FRESH
Jesus is not a patch. He is not a fix for any religion. We can’t put Jesus on Judaism and fix it. We can’t put Jesus on Islam and fix it either. You cannot put Jesus on any ism or schism…it is never religion plus Jesus, or religion and Jesus it is simply Jesus. He is not a patch for the old: He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. You don’t need religion, you need Jesus. Religion might make you better but only Jesus can make you holy. The Jews missed a vital point, one that Jesus makes clear to the Disciples on the road to Emmaus…“O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. The Old Testament is our HIM book, it is all about HIM [Jesus]. God simply used Judaism to get us to Jesus. It is one of the truly amazing things about the bible, Jesus is on every page. Sometimes it takes a good Jewish scholar to help us see Jesus in the passage but He is there. The Ethiopian Eunuch was reading Isaiah 53 and Phillip took that passage and preached Jesus. Hey, you don’t have to be a scholar to see Jesus in Isaiah 53. Every single verse has Jesus written all over it. Judaism was not the substance, it was the shadow. Judaism was John the Baptist preparing the way for the LORD. Jesus ushered in a New Covenant. Jesus fulfilled Judaism. Judaism is no longer relevant and it was Jesus who made it irrelevant. Jesus did not come to patch Judaism, He came to fulfill it and replace it.
- Abraham was a friend of God…Jesus is the Son of God
- Moses was a great law giver…Jesus is much, much greater…He is the law liver. Jesus fulfilled the laws demands.
- David established a great kingdom but it did not last…Jesus established an eternal kingdom that will never end.
- Animal sacrifices could not take away our sin…The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin
3. I AM HERE BUT I AM NOT HERE TO PLACATE AND PACIFY THOSE WHO THINK THEY ARE RIGHTEOUS
Do you see the competition going on here? We fast and the Pharisees fast, so why don’t your disciples fast. Hey, we are one up on Your disciples. Religious people want to be noticed. They come to church to be noticed. They get offended when they are not noticed. Religious people are record keepers; some of them can tell you to the day, how long they have been serving or how long they have been a member. Things that are important to religious people are not important to Jesus. Jesus was concerned with lost people not who was fasting or not fasting. The religious community was upset with Jesus. Here they were fasting, doing without food and He had paid no attention to them. He was spending all of His time with sinners.