Springboarding off of the Apostle Paul’s life focus, clearly expressed in 1 Corinthians 2:2, Pastor Greg launched an “open-ended” message series on January 12th, 2020 – focusing on “Just Jesus.” He is walking us through the entire New Testament, pulling passages from the Old Testament for context, and keep us focused throughout the year on “Just Jesus.” This week Pastor G delivers part 40 of his “Just Jesus” series.
We’re covering Matthew 9:10-17 today. Pastor G talks about Jesus rebuking the complaints of some Pharisees, explaining to John the Baptist’s disciples why His disciples were feasting rather than fasting, and setting the stage for Him making all things new as the Promised Messiah and bringer of “the new wine.”
Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. ~ Matthew 9:10
Some of Matthews’ friends were a little rough around the edges. Any of you have some friends that are a little rough around the edges? Any of you a little rough around the edges yourself? All are welcome at Matthew’s house. Jesus welcomes all of them as well.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” ~ Matthew 9:11
But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. ~ Matthew 9:12
Jesus is not hanging out with sinners to become a sinner Himself. He’s not copying their behavior. He’s not condoning their sin. He doesn’t want to catch the sickness He is treating. Instead, He’s serving as a model of holiness. He’s serving as a guide toward holiness, a Doctor of Holiness. He doesn’t dispute that these people are sinners. He is saying His goal in interacting with them is to cure them of their sinful selfishness. He can’t do that by avoiding them.
But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”~ Matthew 9:13
God says “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice” ~ Hosea 6:6
The Pharisees didn’t come straight to Jesus with their questions and concerns. They tried to go around Him. The disciples of John the Baptist do better. They come straight to Jesus and ask Him for wisdom.
Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” ~ Matthew 9:14
“Christian fasting, at its root, is the hunger of a homesickness for God. Christian fasting is not only the spontaneous effect of superior satisfaction in God, it is also a chosen weapon against every force in the world that would take that satisfaction away.” ~ John Piper
And Jesus said to them, “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. ~ Matthew 9:15
While John’s disciples were fasting in preparation for the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus’ disciples don’t need to do that. The Messiah is here! It’s time for celebration! Jesus says the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them and then they will fast and mourn. He’s talking about His crucifixion of course.
But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” ~ Matthew 9:16-17
Jesus is creating a new covenant, a new type of relationship with God. It is like a brand new garment or brand new wine in a brand new wineskin. He’s not patching together some new ideas with old ideas. Sometimes we have to let go of old ideas or old habits or old methods or old traditions in order to embrace something that is new and better. That’s true in the workplace. That’s true in the church. That’s true in interpersonal relationships and it is true in our faith relationship with God. Of course, few people like to give up something familiar or comfortable. This is even more true when this “something” has been the controlling point for our view of reality, morality, and religion. So we have a tendency try to mix and match new ideas with old. We kind of want to embrace some new things but we don’t want to give up the old. Jesus says that is not going to work. Jesus’ point here is that what He brings cannot be made to fit into the old order and the old forms of religion with which the people He was speaking to were used to. No, to do that would be destructive to both the old and the new. What Jesus brings instead is brand new, fresh, and transformational. It will rip apart anything that tries to force it into a less ideal way of doing, perceiving and experiencing.
Don’t reject Him just because He isn’t doing it the way it’s always been done before.
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” ~ Revelation 21:5a In 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
… put on the new self … ~ Colossians 3:10
… put on Christ … ~ Romans 13:14
Revelation 6 talks about Christians receiving new clean clothes from Jesus upon our deaths. All of these are metaphors, references to the old, sinful man being dead, and the new, spiritual man rising in his place. Sin passing away and holiness rising in it’s place. Jesus is the brand new flawless garment we put on, not just a new cloth patch on the old ways. AND Jesus is the new wine. If we are to be filled with Him we must become new wineskins filled with His Holy Spirit. Jesus makes all things new, He doesn’t just patch up the old. Daily, you can become new, in Christ. Daily, our church can become new, in Christ. He comes as the spiritual physician to the sinfully sick. He comes with compassion and mercy and calls us to show the same. He comes to make all things new including you and me.