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#79 The Wisdom of Jesus

Rather than show John’s disciples where they are wrong, Jesus chooses illustrations from their life to combat the Pharisees insinuations that he is religiously incorrect and dangerous. He starts with John’s metaphor of a wedding and adds two more.

“No one uses new pieces of cloth to patch an old garment, because when it’s washed the patch will shrink and the hole will come back.” In other words, attempting to combine the works religion of the Pharisees with John’s love for God won’t work, and will make the gap between them evident.

“And no one pours new wine into old wineskins–the skins will split and the wine be lost.” The Pharisees can’t take in love because their hearts are shriveled with self-importance. They don’t want God to love anyone but them.

Besides, they think they are too righteous to need saving or instruction. A belief that God changes people by love, instilling new desires and motives, finds no home inside them.

The pretense of false self can destroy a desire for new truth.

A legal religion is loveless and Godless. Religious fasting or praying for the purpose of looking good is distasteful to God. True fasting is freeing others from Satan’s oppression–religious or secular.*

The common people, and the unchurched hang on Jesus’ words picturing God as love.  They are his new wineskins.

You can be too. God’s love makes us new, pouring new motives into us. If we are willing to face our brokenness, dismantle false self, and be taught, we will have abundant new life.**

Matthew 9:16-17,  Mark 2:21-22,  Luke 5:36-39   *Isaiah 58:4-5   **Revelation 3:17-18

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