Matthew 9:14–17 (ESV)
A Question About Fasting
14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding
guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away
from the garment, and a worse tear is made. 17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both
John’s disciples come to Jesus asking why they (Jesus and his disciples) are not fasting. Jesus answers them by saying out
with the old ways, in with the new ways. Well, that is basically what he said, I just broke it down. When he says “No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.”
New cloth shrinks when you wash and dry it. I you sew on an unshrunk patch onto already shrunk material, it will pucker the material and really stand out. You would not want to wear it. Again, Jesus uses the example involving wine making.
“17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” When making
wine, it expands during the fermenting process. You must make it in new wine skins that have not stretched from the fermenting process. If you put new wine into old wine skins, that is skins that have already been stretched, then the new wine will
expand and the old, already stretched wine skins will bust and destroy the new wine. What Jesus is saying is that his new ways don’t work with the old traditions. His new way (new covenant) is what is acceptable now. The old ways must
change. Well… Jesus new ministry is not through the law, but through grace.
I pray: O Lord, help me to not get up in old ways of doing things
but to do things in a God pleasing way. Help me to live by your grace and mercy. Amen.