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Adding On

05 Jul

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.'” (Luke 5:36-39)

Jesus never actually explains this parable, nor do his disciples (or anyone else) ask Him to do so. The meaning seems to be taken as obvious, and indeed, we can get some clue from the context in which Jesus gives this parable:

And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” (Luke 5:33-35)

The context is that of fasting; the Pharisees were asking Jesus why it was that His disciples didn’t fast as they, and their disciples did. They were wondering why it was that Jesus’ disciples weren’t as religious or as rigorous in obeying the law as they were. Jesus responds to this objection, by saying that what He says (i.e. that He is the only way to the Father) cannot be added on to, or put into the Old Covenant; the law. The law can’t be fixed by simply adding on what Jesus says to it, and neither can the law be added (or, if you prefer, you could replace” added” with “patched”) onto His teaching.

It’s impossible to add the law to Christ’s death for us, and retain something substantial. That idea simply won’t hold water (wine). How much easier then to simply not go through the effort of wrongly adding to grace, and instead simply accept Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf?

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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