By Pastor John Mateos Ong
A parable is a short story that gives a lesson. Today, our second parable is a little controversial entitled, ¨New Cloth on Old Garment and New Wine on Old Wineskin.” The reason why we are studying parables, as stated in Matthew 13:11 is, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” When the disciples asked Jesus why he answered them in parables most of the time, He replied that it was His means to make believers understand the things of the kingdom while other people will not get it.
We use the acronym S.O.A.P. when studying parables. Study the SCRIPTURE first, then OBSERVE the things that are very obvious, only those that are writtem, APPLICATION is the relevance to you today and then end in PRAYER.
Matthew 9:16-17 says ““Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before. “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”
When you use new cloth to patch up an old piece of clothing, it will shrink when washed and will result in a tear. Just ike when you put new wine on old wineskin that is made of leather, it will burst. In both ways, you lose something in the process.
When you read this, you will question what the Lord wants to teach you with this parable.
WHO Matt. 9:9-10 “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.”
Matthew, the tax collector
Jesus and his disciples
Other Tax Collectors
All teachers of the law as well as violators of the law were in one place. And the question they were asking was why Jesus was mingling with these sinners.
WHERE at the house of Matthew the tax collector
WHEN after the conversion of Levi (Matthew)
At this time, while they were all eating, the pharisees asked why the disciples were not fasting. Jesus answered that they will do that when He is gone. He was being questioned about their traditions. We have to understand why Jesus says certain things so that we can understand the parables He is teaching.
What is the new wineskin? What does it mean when Jesus said that you cannot put new wine on old wineskin? Jesus was talking about covenants. He said He desires mercy, not sacrifice. The old covenant was a covenant of sacrifices. That is the old wineskin. The new covenant is Jesus, bringing a new covenant, that God had mercy on us.
Jesus redeemed (slave to sons) John. 1:12 says “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—“ Before, we were slaves to sins; but now we are sons of the Father. If this is so, some perks open up for us Although sometimes, we refuse to accept this.
John 15:15 says “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Do you know what happened when Jesus redeemed us? We now have a relationship with Him. We are talking about what Christ has already done for us. The old covenant is full of rules and their corresponding promises. We have to obey the rule to get the promise. But in the new covenant, it is already fulfilled in Jesus Christ - every promise is answered with a yes and Amen.
In Eph. 3:12, it says, “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” Because you are sons of God, you can now approach Him with confidence. Whenever we approach God, we should not be scared of being pushed away because we are His children.
Luke 11:11 also says, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Sometimes, when we ask, we feel that God does not want to bless us. And if someting bad happens around us, we feel that it came from God. This verse tells us otherwise. When we know that someting is for us, it will be given.This is the new covenant. God wants to bless us. That is the new wine, the new covenant.
He wants a relationship (law to grace) Romans 11:6 says, “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” The old covenant is about the aw that you have to obey, But christians will not be judged on the basis of the law.
This is not about what you did anymoe. Because if this is the case, it is not grace. Law and grace cannot be put together, just like new wine cannot be placed on old wineskin. The wine will spill and the wineskin will burst. When you put grace with works, it will get destroyed. When you mix grace even with a little work, it will also be destroyed. It is no longer grace. They cannot co-exist. Either you are judged by the law or you are under grace. You choose.
Eph. 2:8 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—” We have been given a gift by God. Salvation is our greatest gift. I cannot overemphasize how beautiful and powerful grace is, because apart from it, we are doomed. It is not about how good you are, it is about how good God is. He did this because He wants to have a relationship with us. He cannot take it that we are not in His life and He will do everything so we can and will come back to Him. He wants to do things thorugh us. Work is great becasue we know what God is good. We serve not to get accepted but because God already accdepted us.
You must receive Him. Hebrews 9:15 says “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”
During the first covenant, people sinned because the law imposed things that they could not follow. So they became more sinful. Jesus died on the cross so we can be set free from the sins of the old covenant. But we have to do someting. As good as grace may be, as unlimitled as it is, grace allows us to go back no matter what you have done in the past. Unfortunately, not everyone will receive grace. What if we are not called? God is actually waiting for a response from us.
1 Tim. 2:4 says “who (God) wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Those who are called are those who receive. By faith, you can receive Jesus. Will everyone be saved? Unfortunely no. Because there are some who do not believe because they have hard hearts and heads and they love the world too much. There are some who love themselves too much, who love sin and are blinded by the enemy. But God still wants you to be with Him.
Luke 13:22-25 says “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’”
The door is still open. But I do not know until when it will be open. Go in. You might be left behind.
Are you old or new covenant? Have you really received Jesus? It pays to double check. We have to ask ourselves why we are doing all of this? Is it because we are still trying to get saved or because we love Jesus?