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14 Luke 5.33-39

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Luke 5:33-39

v    RQ: How quick are you to accept change?

v    RQ: How do you react when something is done differently than before?

Ø     Today we tried something different

§        We prayed with our eyes open

v    How did you react?

v    What were some of the comments that went through your mind?

Ø     Perhaps some of you thought…

§        This is interesting

·        Or perhaps a few of you thought…

§        I like this

Ø     But if I had to guess, I would say that the majority of you probably thought…

§        Why are we doing this!?

·        This is weird

§        Why are we changing from how we normally do things!?

§        I don’t like this

·        We have always closed our eyes before

·        Why are we varying from our tradition

v    For that is all it is…TRADITION

Ø     Scripture does not tell us to close our eyes and bow our heads

§        Scripture tells us how to pray

·        “Our Father, who art in heaven…”

§        And it gives us examples of postures to pray in…

·        Kneeling, Prostrate, heads raised toward heaven, faces in the dirt

Ø     But it never tells us “bow our heads and close our eyes”

§        It has simply arisen in churches over years and years

·        A tradition

v    And that is exactly what we have in our text today

Ø     A question by the Pharisees concerning a tradition that had arisen in Judaism


READ V. 33


The Pharisees Question on Fasting

v    Here the Pharisees question Jesus regarding fasting

v    Fasting was something that was certainly commanded in the Mosaic Law

Ø     But only once a year

§        Lev 16:29, 31 ~ The Day of Atonement

Ø     There are other examples of fasting in the old testament

§        Mourning (Esther 4:1-3) ~ Mordecai learns of Haman’s genocidal plot

§        Repentance (Joel 1:13-14) ~ Israel to repent

Ø     Fasting is simply an external display of an internal reality

§        But as with so many other things

·        Fasting lost its internal reality with many Jews

¨     And came to be just an external show

v    That is what the Pharisees had turned it into

Ø     A display of holiness

§        They would fast twice a week (Monday & Thursday)

·        E.g. Luke 18:12 ~ Parable of the Pharisees and the Tax collector

¨     Fast 2x per week and give 10%

Ø     For them it was an external display of Holiness

§        We have accounts that they would dress in torn cloths and rub ashes on their faces to make themselves look gaunt

·        Implicit in this type of fasting was the thought…

¨     You could not be holy unless you were uncomfortable

¨     Pictured religion and holiness as joyless, gloomy, solemn

v    To a certain extent, this still exists today

v    Q: How do we approach our Christianity?

Ø     Do we approach Christianity as a religion of “do’s” and “don’t’s”

§        Consisting of refraining from the things you wanted to do

·        And doing things you did not want to do

Ø     Is church a solemn place or a place of joy?

§        1 Peter 1:8

·        Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls

¨     We are filled with Joy…

Ø     At least we should be

v    G.K Chesterton

Ø     “It is really a natural trend to lapse into taking oneself gravely because it is the easiest thing to do…for solemnity flows out of men naturally, but laughter is a leap.  It is easy to be heavy, hard to be light.”

§        So true!

·        Church should be a place where we are full of the joy of our salvation (Psalm 51:12)

Ø     M. Luther:

§        “A Christian should and must be a joyful person, if he isn’t the devil is tempting him.”

v    Too often we fall into the temptation of approaching church and our Christianity with heaviness

v    And that is what the Pharisees did

Ø     They believed that to be spiritual you had to be sullen

Jesus’ Answer on Fasting

v    And Jesus responded to this…

Ø     By first of all addressing the question about fasting

Ø     And then getting to the deeper issue

Look at verse READ V. 34 with me…


v    He responds by asking them to look at who he is…

Ø     The long awaited Messiah

v    And he uses a well know metaphor to help them understand…

Ø     A wedding

§        If you have ever been to a wedding you know that it is not a time for anything else but joy and happiness

§        And this is expressed in many ways at a wedding

·        But always in eating!

v    The Reception

Ø     It is there that the couple is first introduced formally to society

Ø     It is there that the couple then goes around and mingles with the guests

Ø     It is there that the couple remains for a time

Ø     Spends time with their guests

§        No more pictures

§        No more distractions

§        No more preparation

·        Just pure unadulterated celebration and joy!

Ø     And that is what Jesus is saying to the Pharisees here

§        Jesus is finally Emmanuel ~ God with us

·        There is no more preparation

·        There are no more distractions

§        His presence is here

·        So let’s feast together like at a wedding reception

v    But Jesus even this early in his ministry points to a future time

READ V. 35

v    Here he is Foreshadowing his crucifixion and death

Ø     There will be a time of fasting & grief

§        Jesus talks about this further in…

·        READ John 16:16-22 ~ Jesus teaching that grief will turn to joy

Ø     No one will take away our joy because

§        It will no longer be Emmanuel ~ God with us

·        But…

¨     God within us!


The Deeper Issue

v    But Jesus also dealt with the deeper issue the Pharisees question raised

Ø     Their initial question was about fasting

§        But Jesus knew that they needed to understand something far greater

·        That with him comes a new covenant

¨     And with the new covenant comes new teachings

v    He gives them 3 warnings…

READ v. 36


RQ: What is Jesus saying hear?

Ø     Don’t add my new teachings to your old beliefs

§        Jesus’ teachings are not “add-ons”

·        Computer illustration

¨     Jesus’ teachings not like your old computer

¨     When it gets outdated, you can always add on to your computer

Ø     If it is deficient in speed

§        Add Memory

Ø     If you need color printing

§        You add a color printer

Ø     If you want to play computer games

§        You add a graphic card

Ø     If you want to play music

§        You add speakers

Ø     If your eyes are going bad

§        You can add a bigger screen

§        What Jesus is trying to make them understand is that

·        They need a whole new computer

¨     There is an new operating system

Ø     That requires and new hard drive

§        However, many people today approach Jesus’ teachings as add-ons

·        Add-on to their old beliefs

·        A patch to help a certain area

¨     But remaining in their old ways

Ø     That is the warning Jesus is giving to the Pharisees here

§        If you do that…

·        You ruin the new

·        And it does not match the old

·        That is the warning today as well

¨     We live in such a pluralistic society

Ø     Many today are simply making their own “belief system” by taking from different religions and ideologies and creating what is comfortable for them

Ø     Like going down a shopping isle…

§        I like yoga and TM from the far east

§        I like the idea of reincarnation

§        I like the belief of Karma from Hinduism

§        I like scientology where there is no moral or ethical requirement of me

§        I like the idea of feeding and helping the poor and needy that Jesus taught

Ø     Jesus tells us that that just does not work

§        In Marks parallel account (Mk 2:18-22) of this parable

·        He puts it another way

¨     Like putting an unshrunk piece of cloth on an old garment

Ø     The cloth will tear away and make the hole you were trying to patch worse

Jesus’ second warning is…

Ø     Don’t try to make new teaching fit into old ways

§        Look @ v. 37-38

§        Explain wineskin metaphor

·        Wineskin made out of sheep or goat skins

·        Wine would ferment and stretch the skins

·        If the same wineskin was used for new wine

¨     The fermentation gasses would break the wineskin

Ø     For it was already as stretched out as it could be

§        The wineskin had lost its usefulness

Ø     That is what Jesus is telling them about the old Covenant

§        The old covenant has past its usefulness

·        The new wine of the new covenant cannot be poured into old structures…old skins

¨     The new wine of life cannot be restrained by the old, unyielding structures

Shortly after the Armistice of World War I, Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse, the famous pastor of 10th Presbyterian church in Philly, visited the battlefields of Belgium. It was a lovely spring day. The sun was shining, and not a breath of wind was blowing. As Barnhouse walked along examining the abandoned German war equipment, he noticed that leaves were falling from the trees arching above the road.

He brushed at a leaf that had blown against his breast, and it caught in the belt of his uniform. As he removed it, he pressed it in his fingers, and it disintegrated. Old, withered, and dead. He looked up curiously and saw several other leaves falling from the trees. It was not autumn. There was no wind to blow them off. These leaves were seemingly falling with­out cause.

Then he realized that the most potent force of all was causing them to fall: it was spring. The sap was beginning to run, and the buds were pushing from within. From down beneath the dark earth, roots were send­ing life along trunk, branch, and twig until that life expelled every bit of deadness that remained.

When Christ fills our lives, the swelling life within expands us beyond our imagining. The inner life expels unneeded qualities and fills every aspect of life. Once Christ takes up residence in our lives, every aspect of our being - from our intellect, to our emotions, to our will ­undergoes change.

Ø     You see…

§        When people come to Christ, they are like used, dried wineskins

§        Brittle, hard, worldly

·        And he doesn’t fill our old bodies

¨     He gives us new ones

Ø      2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us…

§        Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

§        Christ makes us into a new person

·        And fills us with the new wine of salvation

Finally, Jesus warns…

Ø     Don’t Resist the new altogether

§        READ v. 39


Ø     Here Jesus proverbially is challenging those who are determined never to try the new

§        Those who say…

·        What I have is sufficient

·        What I believe is satisfactory

·        My life is just fine

·        The system I have in my life will get me to heaven

Ø     Here Jesus is challenging all those who have never had the new wine of Jesus Christ to…

§        Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him (Ps 34:8)

v    You see…

Ø     Jesus is still offering salvation to everyone

Ø     Jesus is still offering to atone for all the sin in your life

Ø     Jesus is still extending his hand to you

§        There is but one requirement…

·        For you to realize that your old life, the old wineskin, is inadequate

·        And to accept the new wine of Jesus Christ

v    Notes:

Ø     V. 36 ~ Patchwork of old and new

§        Jesus’ word is to replace the old

§        We try to patch together what we want to believe

v    Sedentary

Ø     V. 37-38 ~ Have new and keep old as well

§        If you accept Jesus’ teaching, you must accept it in its fullness

·        Must expect to give up your beliefs for Christ’s

v    Reactionary

Ø     V. 39 ~ Old is better

§        Does not want to even taste the new

·        Try praying with eyes open

Ø     The first Franciscan monks were disciplined for laughing in church

Ø     The first Methodists set their songs to dance music

·        Many today consume Christianity and simply go on being the same person

·        New wine in old wineskins

¨     “Carnal Christians”

Ø     When Jesus enters a life, he always explodes the old ways

§        Just as new wine would explode in an old wineskin!

Ø     You cannot help but exhibit the fruit of the spirit

§        Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

·        Love for God and one another

·        Joy in your salvation

·        Peace with God

·        Patience with those around you

·        Kindness to those who have not

·        Goodness towards your enemies

·        Faithfulness to God, Spouse, children

·        Gentleness

·        And a self-controlled person

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