You are the Lord of new beginnings, who gives a fresh start each day. I praise You and trust in You.
Read Mark 2:18-22
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
When God broke into our world in Jesus, something new, powerful and explosive was let loose.
The Pharisees and the disciples of John the Baptist are all in Capernaum listening to Jesus and watching what he does. Jesus’ ministry was launched through John. The disciples of this great prophet have listened to his words about Jesus and are looking for baptism with the Spirit and fire. So they are in Galilee seeing what unfolds. The Pharisees are still trying to work Jesus out, since he sounds like them in so many ways. The picture is one of like-minded groups gathering round this new teacher, waiting for God to do something new.
The air is filled with expectation and gossip. The subject is fasting. Surely fasting is good? Aren’t the disciples of Jesus praying for the same things as we are? A fracture has appeared between the different factions and they are trying to puzzle things out. Jesus provides an answer: the bridegroom is here and his groomsmen are partying. They only stop partying when their friend is married. Then they will fast.
Jesus speaks about the difference between his movement and those of John and the Pharisees. You cannot put a new patch on old cloth or it will tear. New wine will burst old wineskins. John and the Pharisees have something of the old order about them. Jesus brings something new that will require them to rethink their faith. The word “new” gives us a clue to what Jesus is talking about. Jesus’ teaching was called “new” as well (Mark 1:27). Jesus interprets the Law in a new way, which he claims is the only way. We only taste Jesus’ new wine when we try out his commands. If we want to join the party, we need to think through the way we act and we need to work out what changes we need to make in our lives to live out Jesus’ teachings.
How has the “wine” of Jesus burst some of your old “wineskins”?
Lord Jesus Christ, shape my expectations of you so that I learn to want what You desire and follow where You lead.