Jesus Speaks on Propriety

In some respects, this is an odd section of Scripture.  Wineskins, wine, garments, patches, bridegrooms, and fasting are words we do not normally use.  But Jesus puts them together in order to make a point.
First, he says it is inappropriate to fast and pray during a wedding.  To fast and pray during a season of celebration is not godly nor does it earn extra credit points spiritually, its stupid.  It is obtuse to force forge ahead with disciplines at inappropriate times.  There is no gain, actually, there is setback.  Here Jesus exposes self-righteous behavior that views the disciplines as a mechanical means of grace.
Second, Jesus says it is inappropriate to hang on to old ways when God is doing something new.  To compromise ruins both the older and the newer ways.  When it is time to move on, we need to move on.  Those who hang back will not receive God’s doting blessing.  They will be left to their own devices.  This may seem harsh but it simply underscores the leadership of God.  We do not have the privilege or the power to stop his initiatives.  New wine requires new wineskins, using old ways to accommodate new revelation is unworkable.
Jesus is leveling this talk to the disciples of both John and the Pharisees.  His message is clear:  join my team because your ways are now a thing of the past.  On the surface this saying is nice but looking at it in context, you can understand how much of a blow this was to the establishment.
So where are we?  Are we hearing God say its time to move forward?  Are we ready to lay aside old ways so that new ways may come?  When the time for change comes, let us embrace it.  Jesus is the leader and we follow him.  To hang back, kick against the goads is only hurtful to oneself.  Let’s be ready for his leadership and embrace it.  A new revelation is only another step towards a greater knowledge of him.
This message comes from Luke 5:33-39.  Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.
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