New Cloth, New Wineskin And The New Creation

Posted: 16 March, 2009 in Ponderings
Tags: , , , , ,

The New Cloth, New Wineskin And The New Creation, Textiles de Otavalo. Ecuador

All the 3 Synoptic Gospels recorded the account where Jesus talked about the old and new cloth, wine and wineskins. The account came about one day when people ask Jesus why His disciples were always eating and drinking but do not go on fasting, see here.

Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can’t fast while the groom is with them. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

“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 wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”   Mark 2:19-22

Jesus replied the question with another question; do wedding guests fast in a celebration setting with the groom? And with reference to a groom, Jesus is also probably referring to Himself as the Groom and the Church as the Bride, see here. Another way of paraphrasing Jesus’ words is this, do we mourn when we are in a wedding? There was a time to mourn when the Groom was taken away, but when He was resurrected, the joy is even greater, see here.

After much searching, I realised there has not been very much materials on interpreting the parable of the old and new cloth. Common explanation points to Jesus’ “new cloth patch” gospel will not fit within the old clothes of the religious structures. It does not seem as straightforward as the new wine and wineskin where the old wineskin cannot contain the effervescence of the new wine; the “new wine” gospel will explode the old concepts of God and His Ways. The summary point being not mixing both new and old as this will result in the waste of both, since both are not compatible. But in my search, God showed me there are more to that.

You see, Jesus was speaking with reference to John the Baptist’s disciples and the Pharisees. John’s disciples represented God’s people that were of the old covenant, before Jesus’ new covenant at the cross. The Pharisees, on the other hand, represented another group of people with total misrepresentation and misunderstanding of God. Although both group did the same thing, which is fasting, but the origins from their hearts are so very different and God see the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

The New Cloth, New Wineskin And The New Creation

However, both groups of people mistakenly sees God and His holiness with mere human understandings that are very loose in God’s sight, like the old clothes or filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). God’s character has been slowly eroded and misrepresented through the ages and Jesus had come to set the record straight, see here. Jesus did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but Jesus had come to fulfill it where no human being can perfectly fulfill; as the ultimate sacrifice, that is the gospel – the new cloth. And this new cloth will rip away from the old cloth, the old human concept of man able to attain and achieve God’s perfect standard and pristine requirement; that God find man’s effort acceptable and honourable, leaving an even bigger tear than before.

So how do we become the new cloth and the new wineskin? – By simply becoming a new creation in Christ.

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!    2 Corinthians 5:17

  1. watcat says:

    Hi this blog is great I will be recommending it to friends.

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