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Living by God’s truth

“No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and uses it to patch an old garment. For then the new garment would be ruined, and the new patch wouldn’t even match the old garment.“ And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins. But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine. ‘The old is just fine,’ they say.” Luke 5:36-39

From the text, the Lord Jesus Christ used a familiar story to illustrate what He wanted the hearers to realize. He wanted us to see that we have a natural resistance to the things of God. The lesson Jesus conveys is that the new and the old are not to be mixed. In patching an old garment, you should not ruin a new one by cutting a piece out of it to put on the old. It does not match, and will probably cause another tear since the weaker old cloth will simply tear further. Since Jesus is preaching God’s offer of salvation through the gospel, the people should not expect to impose their old ways of religion and its form upon the one that God offers. The same is true of wineskins. The old wineskin loses its elasticity, the stretch necessary to expand with the fermentation of new wine. If it cannot stretch, it will burst. Jesus was indicating a real difference between the beliefs His hearers tend to embrace that are based on rituals and regulations and His new teaching. He was telling them that His teaching cannot be forced into the framework of their religious belief. But the problem was, the people prefer their own way of coming to God than the one that Jesus was offering them; “The old is just fine,’ they say” (v. 39). This is a source of the problem; people are reluctant to change from the old ways. Once we realize the truth of God’s word, though it might not be in accordance with what we believe, our responsibility is to step out in faith, trusting Him, yielding to His truths. This is not always easily done but truth learned should be put into practice. When we hear God’s word rightfully expounded should prompt us to take action ceding our will to God’s will. “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).


Noel De Guzman

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