Friday, September 7, 2012

Harmony of the Gospels

42. New wine into old wineskins- Matt. 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22, Luke 5:33-39


-Here in this section we see the Pharisees, rich in their legalistic tradition, questioning Jesus about the lack of fasting they observe in His disciples compared to them and John’s disciples. Jesus’ response is attended to alert them to His Messianic greatness as a time of celebration and joy, which they were never actually able to perceive. Jesus did maintain that there would come a time for them to fast when the bridegroom is taken away. The Scripture uses this bridegroom analogy often as something that is known is compared to a deep spiritual truth concerning the Kingdom of God. This was the plaroma (the fullness of time) in which God came to be with man in special revelation through the incarnation of His Son (Galatians 4:4, Ephesians 1:10). Special rejoicing and celebration around this monumental event should have been expected if anyone really understood what was going on. Jesus even tried to explain this to these, but they continued to be blind and deaf. *Application* There is a season for all things. These are seasons of the soul and God wants us to react appropriately in each and every situation. It is His will for us to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4, Ephesians 5:16), but there are times when we should fast and make special efforts in seeking Him. What time is it in your life?

-Jesus reiterates His point with two more illustrations designed to show how the new in Him had come. This is a precursor to the New Covenant, which He would establish with His blood on the cross of Calvary (Jeremiah 31:31, Luke 22:20, 1 Corinthians 11:25). It was a new day and a new way with the Son of God’s justifying sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Gone would be the old religious system tied up in the traditions that were manmade and cumbersome on the soul of man. Righteousness was now going to be attainable. Those who wanted to cling to the old system would say that it was good enough (Luke 5:39), but they failed to realize that it could never bring salvation and impute the righteousness of God on a person. It only restrained evil by the enforcement of the rigid law that was perfect as far as God gave it, but it proved impossible for man to keep. Therefore, in God’s mercy and compassion, He gave His only begotten Son to be the substitutionary atonement for our sins (Hebrews 10:1-10). These deep theological truths Jesus spoke in parables, which flew right over the head of His hard hearted hearers. *Application* The “old wine skin” has become synonymous with traditional manmade systems that have become too rigid and controlled to be of much Kingdom value. When we seek “new wine skin” we are breaking away from the religious spirit into the work of Christ in a freeing and more pliable situation that is commensurate with the Spirit of God. Often this causes tension with those who want to be unyielding and unchanging, but Jesus predicted these things would happen not only back then, but anytime a controlling spirit is present. At times like these it is best to break away and find a new container for your spiritual work. But always remember to do it God’s way in love and without bitterness or jealousy.


Verse to Memorize- Mark 2:22


43. Pool of Bethesda- John 5:1-15


-Jesus heals a man who had been ill and couldn’t walk for 38 years on the Sabbath. This happened in Jerusalem during a feast of the Jews (it was either the feast of 1. Passover/Unleavened Bread, 2. Weeks, or Pentecost, or 3. Booths). Jesus observed his condition, asked him if he wanted to get well, and then healed him giving him an imperative command to pick up his pallet and walk. This action infuriated the pious Jews who had made up Sabbath requirements in their tradition, which outlawed carrying such an item (they calculated that this was work and negated the rest required by the Law). Jesus was not breaking any of the Laws of God, but He did go against the manmade system in which the Jews were showing legalism and in result a lack of compassion for such a man as this who was healed. Jesus slipped through the crowd undetected to escape their wrath, but afterward He approached the man in the Temple with some words of wisdom that he be responsible with his new freedom of mobility. Jesus’ warning after he had become well was to sin no more lest something worse happen. *Application* Jesus said “everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded (Luke 12:48).” This man had been entrusted the riches of being made well in the area of walking. He was now required to use this gift in the furtherance of the gospel and to do good things. Don’t waste the gifts God has richly blessed you with for His service (2 Timothy 1:6). To abuse His endowments is a sin and corrective punishment may be the result.


Verse to Memorize- John 5:14

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