Jesus Contrasts Old and New
Description: Questioned about His lack of religious observance, Jesus shows us that He did not come to put a patch on broken and dying religion, but rather He came to bring humanity something new, deep relationship with God.
Keywords: Gospel, Jesus, God, Luke, narrative, Son of God, Bible, Sermon, Bible Fellowship Church, BFC, Whitehall, Northern Lehigh
Date: January 10, 2016
Speaker: Pastor Gene
Scripture: Luke 5:33-39
Video: Watch this Sermon
Audio: Listen to this Sermon (time 25:34)
Notes: Read Sermon Notes
Transcript (new way)
1 “Jesus Contrasts the Old and New” (Luke 5:33-39) CLARENCE REHRIG: “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.’ 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.'” And may God bless the reading of his Word. PASTOR G. SMITH: The scripture that was just read, I want to give a little explanation to some of this, but in Luke chapter 5 beginning with verse 29, just two or three verses there. “And Levi gave a big reception for him in his house, and there was a great crowd of tax collectors and other people who were reclining at the table with them. The Pharisees and the scribes began grumbling at his disciples, 2 saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?'” Fantastic. Fantastic. As I read this this morning again at home I was thinking of the birthday party we had yesterday over in the fellowship hall, and I thank God for that. But I have learned over my 43 years of ministry that no matter where the gathering is, even in this gathering this morning, and I hope I don’t offend anyone but will say it anyway, not everybody here is saved this morning, not everybody here knows the Lord. I have learned over the years that congregations grow and people accept Christ and they walk with the Lord, but there’s always a few, that may even attend faithfully, but they have never accepted Jesus Christ. The point I want to make is this: That that gathering over in the other room yesterday around lunchtime, I am convinced that not everybody there knows Jesus Christ as their savior, much less as their Lord. Now, I don’t want to be critical of that, but I can almost picture in my mind some scribes and Pharisees standing just outside that double door there before going in through the double door into the other room, standing there and saying, What is with these people? They’re Christians. Why are they gathered together eating and having fellowship and having a good time? When the scribes and Pharisees know 3 this shouldn’t be done this way; you don’t do that stuff; you don’t get together that way. Well, we do. But I want to build on that, what I just said about John and Carmen. Our life group meets every other Friday night. When we met this past Friday night it was a little different, different in the fact that I didn’t get to teach the lesson. Two hours went by so quick, two and a half hours went by. There was the presence of God in that home, in that room where we sat around the table. I wish I could put it into words what it was like, but you could just sense the presence of the Holy Spirit. There was singing, there was testimony, there was praising God, there were tears. I said to Sara on the way home, I don’t think I shed that many tears in the last ten years. But God was there and the presence was there. Why do I share that? I would venture to say that maybe one, two, three, maybe a half dozen of you sitting here, if you had been sitting in the other room, you probably would have grabbed your coat and went home. Christians don’t do stuff like that. They don’t raise their hands and shout for joy, “Well, glory.” They don’t do stuff like that. Well, you do when the Spirit of God becomes prevalent and takes residence. He’s resident in us as we accept Christ. But there are times in our lives when the Spirit of God begins to move and you take notice. You can’t put it into 4 words at times, but you just know something is happening. And I sat at the head of the table where I usually sit to teach and to give the lesson, and I just sat there and listened, and I could sense the peace of God settling in around the table. Yes, there were tears, there was confession, there was prayer, and all these things; and on the way home I just went: Yeah! All right! I mean I might have done it there, too. I don’t exactly remember. But the Pharisees and scribes, they considered themselves as being righteous, and they didn’t need the message of Christ. Now, I know in the gospel passages you will see that Jesus calls them different kinds of names. He called them hypocrites pretty often. And what he says here, Jesus answered and said to them, to the question of why are they drinking and having a good time with tax collectors and sinners, and Jesus comes back with the answer. “It is not those who are well who need a physician but those who are sick. I have come not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” And he is throwing a dig back at the scribes and Pharisees. He says, You are so self-righteous; you think you’re holier than thou and always thinking you’re higher than anybody else; but I’m telling you, you’re nothing but dirt. He didn’t say that; I said that. But that is what he’s saying. And he is saying you don’t need a doctor. 5 You’re not sick. But that was in jest as he said it in their presence. And then Jesus draws an analogy from a wedding feast to answer their question. Jesus is referring to himself, that as long as he is here, the need is to rejoice, to be happy. The day will come when he will be taken away. Then there will be a time of fasting and prayer. And Jesus is preparing John’s disciples, his own disciples for what lies ahead; only a year or two into the future that he will no longer be there. As you recall, before the Holy Spirit was poured out in the book of Acts they were in an upper room somewhere. They were praying and they were fasting and they were hurting. And Jesus said that time will come, but for now I am here and I want them to rejoice, I want them to be happy in the Lord. And again it was a mixed crowd; absent of Pharisees and scribes, but it was a mixed crowd. And this is the kind of contrast that Jesus is making through this whole passage. He says here in verse 36, he was telling them a parable. “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and then puts it on the old garment. Otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.” I’d like to give some kind of an illustration of that. Oh, by the way, I will be sharing my testimony from time to 6 time through the message, so. In my baseball playing days I was hard on a uniform. I did a lot of base stealing — which is legal, you can do that in a baseball game — and I was tearing my pants to shreds every year, every year, every year. And I’d come home, and Mom would say, “Well, I guess I got to put a patch in it.” Well, the uniform itself started getting older, but she’d put a new patch into the old garment. And I’d get out there and play ball again, I’d slide, and the new patch would tear out of the old garment, and this would happen time and time again. And I’m just glad that my wife knows how to sew because when I got married these things were still happening. I played a lot of baseball and a lot of fast-pitch softball. However, the patch that was put in didn’t hold. What Jesus is referring is to that the new covenant could not be put into their old ways. He’s talking to the scribes and Pharisees. The new covenant that he is putting into place cannot be put into the old ways, the law, without it being tore out. And he’s giving a message to the scribes and the Pharisees. And some of you here this morning are like that old garment. You try to patch it. In your Christian walk you try to patch it and it doesn’t stay, or maybe in your professed Christianity and it doesn’t say. You sit here Sunday mornings, some of you do, taking in what you decide 7 you want to take in and reject the rest. Think about that. The problem with a lot of Christians is that they come to church and gobble up the message. I do that. I sit over there every Sunday morning, I gobble up the message; feed on the worship, I stuff myself with fellowship. And maybe we all do that. But some of us leave here and don’t use what they gobbled up, and they’re filled up to being stuffed and they can barely move because they’re stuffed with the things of God when they get up to leave. Don’t you realize that the reason God feeds us is so we can be strong and that we can go out and tell somebody else where to find the banquet, where to come to feast, where to come to eat on the Word of God. That is our responsibility. And of course I realize that some Christians don’t evangelize because they’re never around unbelievers, they don’t know any ungodly people. That may be you. I don’t know. Well, Levi supplied a dinner for all who would come. Levi was not a trained theologian. He was a tax collector, he was a rascal. I’ll use a good word, he was a rascal. That described him. I know of a man some years ago who was quite a rascal, and that’s putting it in a nice way. He played baseball, fast-pitch softball, and he was pretty good. He was. But anyway, he was hopelessly lost, hopelessly lost. Then one 8 Tuesday evening his wife invited him to come to a revival meeting in East Allentown, at the Missionary Church in East Allentown, and that Tuesday night he fell under conviction. In his heart he knew that he was a sinner, he knew that he was lost, and as much as he tried to get up from that seat and go forward at the invitation, he didn’t. He couldn’t because Satan had ahold of the seat of his pants and just kept him in that seat. Well, then a few weeks later on May the 25th, 1973, that man was gloriously saved and brought into the kingdom of God. He was now one of those rejoicing at his new-found faith. How about you? Where are you in your walk of faith? By the way, we had a fantastic message this morning in Sunday School on faith, hope, and love. Thank you, Daryl. I get pumped up every time I listen to you teach. Thank you. Are you rejoicing because you know the bridegroom, or are you like the Pharisees? Think about that. If you are self-sufficient, you will go your own self-chosen way, you are headed for self-destruction. Think of the wedding feast here as it was said. “You cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them. Then they will fast in those days.” As Jesus was looking at them, he saw the Pharisees 9 through and through. Jesus made it clear that no one is to put a new piece of cloth into an old garment because it will pull away from the patch and it will make the garment useless. Jesus did not come to patch the law. What did Jesus come to do with the law? He didn’t come to patch it, what did he come to do with the law? Fulfill it, that’s right. He said I have not come to destroy, or whatever, to the law; I have come to fulfill the law. And he did; he did. Jesus came to pay the penalty of sin on the cross, therefore fulfilling the law. Everything in the Old Testament leads up to the time of Jesus Christ. And he did more than that. When I accepted Christ — and you did, too, all of you can verify this — God put a new garment on you. He put a new garment on you, he put one on me. I don’t have to worry about putting a patch in the old garment because I don’t have the old garment. I am not living under the law of the Old Testament, I am living under the grace of Jesus Christ, that wonderful grace which we’re going to sing a little bit later on in that song. Jesus did more than that. He put on us a robe of righteous. Just think of that. Verses 37 through 39. “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out and the skins will be ruined. 10 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wishes for new, for he says the old is good enough.” A short lesson on making wine. When preparing — and I know a little bit about this. Okay? In my unsaved state I was an alcoholic, so I had a glass of wine or two. When preparing new wine the ingredients are put into a new wineskin. That’s what Jesus is saying here. And over several months of being in that wineskin it begins to ferment and it gives off gas, and the wineskin begins to stretch, and the reason it stretches is so it would not burst. Now, I had an uncle who made — and I have to say it this way because it’s true. He made some of the best dandelion wine that you can ever imagine. Now, I’m not condoning drinking, don’t get me wrong. I haven’t had a drop to drink in 43 years. But he made some of the best wine. It was good dandelion wine. And for months and months — he had put it in small casks and left it in there, and it fermented and it did what it’s supposed to do inside that cask. They didn’t have a wineskin; it was a cask. But after many months of this here, him and I were playing pinochle at the Breinigsville VFW on a Sunday afternoon, which was one of my pastimes during the winter. But anyway, Sara called and said supper is going to be ready 11 in about 45 minutes. I said, “Okay. I’ll be there.” But when we got to his home, I wanted to drop him off, he says, “Come on in.” He says, “I’m going to open up the first cask of my new dandelion wine.” So I went along in, and he gave me an 8-ounce glass just about full, and it was so smooth and so pleasant. The point I’m going to make is that wine is a mocker. Okay? However, it had quite a kick. After about 30 minutes Sara called again. “Aren’t you coming home for supper?” And I says, “I’m on my way.” I got up from the chair at the kitchen table and I reached for the doorknob — back flat on my back. That’s the power that’s in that. That is the fermentation having reached its ultimate. New wine is a powerful thing. But that’s not what Jesus is talking about. He is talking about the new wine of the Word, the new wine of a life in Jesus Christ, a new wine relying on the Holy Spirit to lead you in your life, not that stuff that corrodes and corrupts and leads people into all kinds of sin and debauchery, not that kind of wine. It’s the new wine. And I found over the years that God very seldom fills a man or a woman with new wine or the gospel all at once. It’s a process that takes weeks, months, and years, and it’s called what? Sanctification. Thank you. It’s called sanctification. 12 But the evening that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior I prayed through, and God gloriously saved me. And in that room over in South Mountain where we lived in Allentown, when I opened my eyes there was a soft glow in the room and a peace that just filled my soul. I can’t explain it more than that. Here’s a man that was caught in sin, to the worst kind of sin. That was me. But that night God poured a little bit of new wine into me. I had a new wineskin. The old wineskin that I had was cracked and beat up and everything else. That disappeared. God gave me a new wineskin. I share these things in my testimony so that maybe someone here can grab ahold of what God can do in their lives if you allow him to. Am I perfect? Not by any sense of the word. Anybody that’s known me for 43 years knows I’m not perfect. But that’s beside the point. Within a few short weeks after that I started three Bible studies. That’s within a year. One in Mertztown, one in Breinigsville, and one in Macungie. I was so on fire for God I would talk about Jesus to whoever would listen, and if my dogs would stand still, I’d even preach Jesus to them. I was on fire for God. But again, God did not fill me all at once, because he knew that I couldn’t handle it all at once. He knew that. A few months later God poured a little more new wine 13 into me. As I was sleeping — I worked second shift, and as I was sleeping one night it was impressed upon me in a dream that I was to preach. Now, folks, that is not a simple thing. I would not stand before four people and start a conversation. If four people get together and I’m the fifth one and start talking, I’d turn around and walk away. I didn’t like being with people. I was a loner. But that was about to change. But he impressed upon me that he wanted me to preach, and again I felt that peace that passes all understanding. I woke up and I thought, am I dreaming or not? But I knew that God was speaking, and that peace flooded my soul again. And a day or two later I told Sara that God wants me to enter the gospel ministry, and within a year’s time from then we were off to Fort Wayne Bible College. Again why do I share these things with you? I decided to show how god pours himself into people who are called of God, who have a fresh wineskin, who have on the new garment, the robe of righteousness, and are desiring to serve him. That’s why I share these things with you. Verse 38 again. “But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.” Fast-forward just two years, and on Friday nights the young people at Bible college — I was the old man. By this time I was 35, so I was the old man. They were all 18, 19, 20, 21 years old. And they didn’t call me the old man. 14 Some called me Dad, some called me Pappy, or whatever, you know. But I’d go to their Friday night get-togethers in one of the dorms, auditorium in one of the dorms, and they would be so happy in the Lord. They would be raising their hands and they’d be singing choruses, choruses I didn’t know. I had to learn them yet. But they just had a glow about them, they had a peace about them. They openly worshiped God without any inhibitions, they just left it all go. And Friday night after Friday night I’d come home, and I was distressed, I was disturbed. And one Friday night I come home, and I’d go run right down to the basement to where my desk was and my study, and I said, “God,” I said, “this is enough. Those young people have something I don’t have, and I want it. I want it, God.” Well, god came upon me with both feet, and I mean he stumped me down, and he began to show me all the sin that was still in my life. Here I’m a second-year Bible college student. I’m in sin? Yes. He showed me the sin that I had in my life, and one by one I confessed them, one by one I confessed them, one by one I confessed them. In tears I was laying on the basement floor, and God poured a little more new wine into me. Something happened then that I won’t share, but that’s okay. Right, Sara? That’s okay. All right. Good. Yeah. 15 But God poured in a little more new wine. He didn’t fill me up because I didn’t have the — I couldn’t carry it all. I could talk about that pleasant glow in my study. I wish you could experience it. I began singing with a new fervor, an abandonment which I hadn’t experienced before, and that night in my basement, laying on the floor and confessing my sin, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. That became a reality. And I pray and ask that for all of you folks. I don’t know how many hours I was laying there on the floor, kneeling on the floor and praising God in my presence, but God came and took ahold of my hand. Yes. Well, after 2,000 years the old wine of the gospel has become the new wine and the best wine, the gospel wine. What God has poured into me is the best, and it took time. It took weeks and months and years, and he’s still not done. I’ll never reach perfection until I look Jesus in the face, and then I’ll fall on my face again. Is my wineskin full? No. That fullness will come when I go home to be with the Lord. But my question is for you, are you being filled with the new wine of the gospel, of the Word of God; are you being filled little by little? As God can pour it into you, you accept it and you continue on. In my 24 years at our church here — for those that are new, I was the head pastor, lead pastor for 17 years, and 16 then Pastor Tim came and I retired. But in my 24 years I have seen numerous people in our congregation beginning to be filled with the new wine. They were believers, they were Christians, but they were a little rough on the edges or whatever you want to call it, but they were beginning to be filled. We had a young man here in the middle ’90s, 1990s who was a youth leader, and Sunday afternoons we had 20 to 25 young people come to church here every Sunday afternoon. Half of them would stay for the evening service. I know some of you are looking back and forth at each other. That’s how many youth we had in those days coming on a Sunday afternoon. Because it was a spirit-filled man; an elder displayed the love of God, and teens were drawn to Christ. God is pouring new wine into people here, and I’m going to point out two of them that I can point out by name, and I know they won’t mind. God is pouring new wine into these two men that have wine flasks and wineskins, and they’re not completely filled. That’s Pastor Tim and Pastor Aaron. And don’t you kid yourself. God is using those men here and up at Northern Lehigh. The wine is being poured into them, and you know that when they stand here and preach. Their ministry displays the love of God through the preaching of the Word and their words of kindness. 17 So I want to start wrapping this up. Are you an old garment or are you an old wineskin? I want you to think about that. You’re a believer. You’re stuck in a rut, not going anywhere and not doing anything for the kingdom of God. You put a smile on your face, show people how happy you are, but really that’s an act. Are you dead inside? Is that you? You may be active in the church here, but you have no happiness in his service. You have not shared your faith about Christ or with Christ with an unbeliever in all the years that you’ve been a believer. And why didn’t you do that? Because your wineskin is empty; your wineskin is empty. You may have a new wineskin, but it’s empty. I wrote something down here that I want to share with you, and I don’t know where I put it. Isn’t that something? That’s probably it. No. Maybe it will come back to mind. But the scribes and the Pharisees were like that. But they had old wineskins, they had old garments, and they definitely did not do the work of God. But I’m asking you to consider yourself and where you’re at. In the book of Mark, the last chapter, Jesus says I want you to go out and proclaim the gospel. Matthew says more to it and says make disciples. Mark says I want you to go out and preach the gospel. But what happens so often in the lives of believers, what we want to do is to stay at home and send Jesus. 18 That’s not what Jesus said. He said I want you to go, and I will be with you, I will be in you. Do you know why Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today? I’m not going on a tirade of Islam. The people in that religion are not ashamed of their message. They go to the streets, they go out with — handing out the propaganda that they have in their neighborhoods and declare their message. And what are Christians doing? Praising God on Sunday mornings. Thank you. All right. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not enough, not enough. We need to go out in the authority of Christ, assured of his abiding presence, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Can you do that? Will you do that? Just a question I wanted to ask. Okay. Let’s pray, let’s close our eyes. And as you close your eyes I’m asking that you allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you. But I’m going to start at the beginning, and by that I mean do you know Jesus Christ in a life-changing way? Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior? Has your life been changed through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life through Jesus Christ? If not, will you make that decision today? If you’re lost — nobody else is going to look. I’m going to look at you but nobody else will. Raise your hand if you do not know Jesus Christ in a personal way. Don’t 19 kid anyone. You can kid me, you can kid everybody else, but if you walk out of here lost, you’re lost. Is that you? Will you raise your hand? You see, Christ is calling right now. He who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved, and there’s no other name under heaven by which a man may be saved other than Jesus Christ. Are you ready to receive a new wineskin? That’s the question I’m asking. Raise your hand. No? Now, for those of you who are believers, you know Christ in a life-saving way, are you ready for God to pour more new wine into your wineskin? You have the new wineskin but you’re empty, really nothing to show that you ever walked in the Spirit. Is that you? Today is the day, and I’m asking you, don’t leave here empty. Nothing to show that you ever walked in the Spirit. Don’t put this off. Let me see a show of hands for those of you that want to be filled with the new wine of the Spirit of God? Okay, I see your hand. Anyone else? Yes, yes, yes. Anyone else? Yes, I see your hand. Yes, yes. Now I’m going to ask you to do something that may be difficult for you to do, but I’m asking you to come out of your seat where you’re at. Those of you that raised your hand, come up front here, and we’re going to pray with you. Come on, come up front. Don’t be bashful. Don’t worry about who’s sitting next to you and wonder this or that. 20 I’m asking you to come forward. Now you’re going to put it on the line where it’s supposed to be. Come on, come. There should be about 15 or 16 of you coming up. Come on. Okay. I’m going to ask our elders that are here if you would come and join us. Mark, Jonathan? I know these folks, I know that they love the Lord, they’ve found salvation in Christ, but they decided, Father, to be filled with your Spirit, filled to capacity. Their new wineskin is ready for more new wine, and I’d pray, Father, that you’d do that at this time. Father God, your presence here is quite evident. There’s that peace permeating through this sanctuary, and that’s because of your presence. I pray, Father, for these that have come forward. Their desire as they’ve indicated is, Lord, fill me; fill me to overflowing. Lord, it is their desire I believe that from out of their belly should flow rivers of living water, and that can’t happen unless they’re filled. So, Lord, take their desire, fill them afresh, fill them anew, and, Lord, as they can take in more as the days and months go by, keep on filling, keep pouring the new wine in, because they want to be saturated with that new wine. They want to be accused of drinking wine, which they don’t, as they did in the book of Acts, but they were filled with the Holy Spirit, with joy and excitement. I pray, Lord, that this would take place 21 here with these people. And for those that raised their hand, being bashful perhaps or for whatever other reason, but I pray that they, too, would experience not just the life-giving presence of Christ but the power of the Holy Spirit that can be theirs. This I pray in your most precious name. Amen.