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Matthew 9:14-17: New Cloth and New Wine

Posted by adventbiblestudy on November 6, 2011


Matthew 9:14-17 MKJV Then the disciples of John came to Him saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast? (15) And Jesus said to them, Can the sons of the bridechamber mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they shall fast. (16) No one puts a piece of new cloth onto an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the tear is made worse. (17) Nor do men put new wine into old wineskins; else the wineskins burst, and the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved together.

 

After one meal with Jesus, Matthew decided to leave everything behind to follow Jesus. At the moment it seemed he could never get enough of what Jesus offered. Matthew wanted to find out everything about this man. Matthew had not seen Jesus heal anyone. Like most people, he heard the stories, but he had not witnessed a single miracle performed by Jesus. Matthew followed Jesus based on His word. Since Jesus was there in front of him, Matthew figured the best thing to do was talk to Him. “I liked your talk about sacrifice and mercy after dinner.” Jesus asked him, “do you understand what the sacrificial lamb represents?” Matthew could tell by the tone of Jesus’ voice, his first answer was not the one Jesus was looking for. He decided to ask Jesus, “what do you mean?” Jesus did not answer, so after a while Matthew had no choice but provide his answer to continue the conversation. “The lamb takes away sins.” Jesus wanted to see what Matthew believed. Jesus asked, “do you really believe a lamb can take away sin?” Matthew thought this was an easy question, this is what he had been taught all his life, so he answered, “yes.” Jesus tested him further, “what type of lamb does the law require?” Matthew quickly answered, “a perfect lamb without blemish.” Jesus asked, “is there such a thing as a perfect lamb?” Matthew, knowing the daily corruption witnessed in the sacrificial system run by the priests answered, “I suppose it depends whose standards are used.” Jesus responded as if knowing how Matthew would answer, “is there any standard beside God’s? When a man offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to Jehovah to carry out his vow, or a free-will offering in cattle or sheep, it shall be without blemish to be accepted.” (Leviticus 22:21 MKJV)

 

Jesus knew how the priests had corrupted the sacrificial system, and how they had turned the Sabbath from a time to commune with God to a day of toil, following the endless list of rules and regulations established by the priests. These traditions took the mind off God’s plan by substituting the promise of salvation with animals and works. This is what Jesus came to this world to correct, and Matthew was now open to receive the truth.

Jesus could not wait to share the plan of salvation with Matthew, who was not ready to understand the entire plan in detail, but Jesus had seeds to plant that would one day sprout and grow into a full understanding. “”One day I will not be with you. At that time you will have a better understanding of the things I am about to tell you. After that I will return to answer all your questions. There is a salvation from God, and another salvation taught by men. Like all things from God, salvation is sure and true. The salvation from God does not require works, but is a free gift obtained by faith. “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord Jehovah will wipe away tears from all faces. And He shall take away from all the earth the rebuke of His people. For Jehovah has spoken. And one shall say in that day, Lo, this is our God. We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is Jehovah; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25:8-9 MKJV)

Jesus continued to explain salvation. “”True salvation is offered by God. David explained, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened; burnt offering and sin offering You have not asked.” (Psalms 40:6 MKJV) Like with Abraham, God will provide His perfect sacrifice. When you accept God’s sacrifice, you will be saved. You cannot accept God’s sacrifice and try to combine it with your works. If you try you will create a war within yourself and the enemy will not allow you to feel the comfort God is offering. When you rely on your works it opens the door of guilt. You feel no matter how hard you work at your own salvation, it is never enough. The two will tear you apart.”

Matthew asked Jesus to tell him more about God’s salvation. Jesus, enjoying Matthew’s eagerness explained what he was about to see, experience, and write about. “You will hear many new things. You may not understand at first, but everything will be revealed to those who seek the truth with an open heart. I will put my Spirit in those who will stand fast in my word. Others will hear my words, and be torn by jealousy and anger. I do not teach the traditions of men, but the truth from God, which was spoken before this world was created. Those who cling to traditions and what men teach will loose the words I have placed within their hearts. Trying to combine the two will tear them apart”

Not long after talking with Matthew, they met a group of John the Baptist’s disciples on the road. The Pharisees were constantly attempting to divide the groups by placing doubts and questions on their minds. Seeing Jesus they asked, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?”

Jesus said to them, “Can the sons of the bride chamber mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they shall fast.” Jesus, who spoke clearly to Matthew now began to speak in parables. “No one puts a piece of new cloth onto an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do men put new wine into old wineskins; else the wineskins burst, and the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved together.”

Although parables were new to John’s disciples, they quickly grasped onto their meaning. One of them answered, “Lord we hear and believe your word. We will not only keep it in our hearts, but go out and teach it to the world. John can no longer be with us, can we follow you?”

As the sun was setting the red hue highlighted the dark lines, and the outline of the smile on Jesus’ face. At that moment every color was accentuated. The horizon lit up in hues of pink and yellow. Leaves on the trees shone like the deepest jade, while rocks on the ground reflected God’s brilliance. It was a moment to be etched in the memories of everyone present as Jesus supplied the answer they longed to hear, “yes my brother.”

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