- Sermon Notes
Intro: A new contract!
In Matthew chapter 9:14-17, Jesus is questioned as to the way in which His disciples functioned in comparison to that of the Pharisees and disciples of John the Baptist.
There was an infrastructure associated with Judaism, a “way” in which the “righteous” of that day were to live and go about their lives, but Jesus and His disciples did not fit that form, nor did they function according to man-made norms. As the questions mounted, Jesus made sure that all knew, He did not come to patch up an old system, rather, He came to make all things new!
Read: Matthew 9:14-17
After being questioned about His willingness to eat with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus is again questioned as to why His disciples were not fasting on the customary day. In the Old Testament, there was only one day where fasting was required, that was on the day of atonement (Leviticus 16:29). Even though there was only one required day for fasting, Jewish tradition had come to require fasting twice weekly.
The Pharisees fasted every Monday and Thursday and it seems that this banquet Jesus and His disciples were at fell on one of the customary Jewish fasting days. While at the banquet, Jesus’ disciples were feasting when according to tradition, they should have been fasting.
Those questioning Jesus were looking for Him to make room for their traditions, customs, processes and religious procedures, but Jesus was not going to go there. There was a way in which they had set things up and they were wanting Jesus and His followers, to follow suit.
In our lives, there is a way in which we have set things up. Processes and procedures that work for us, descriptions that define us, ways that have been made for us. There are ways in which we determine are best for us, often wanting Jesus to make room for the way in which we believe we should go. But in you, He wants to do something new.
I. Make Room for Jesus
Matthew 9:14, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”
- The Pharisees fasted every Monday and Thursday.
- They would put on a gloomy face, neglect their appearance, wear old clothes, sometimes purposely soiled or old, dishevel their hair, throw some dirt on their face, etc.
- They would in a literal sense, “put on a show.”
- While fasting is not a command in scripture, it is something that is good. The book of Acts records believers fasting prior to making important decisions (Acts 13:2; 14:23). It is often linked with prayer (Luke 2:37; 5:33). For direction (Ezra), and liberation.
- It is a way to make room in your life as you seek the Lord, a way of saying “no” to the flesh, and “yes” to God. The focus is often on lack of food, but it should be a focus to take your eyes off the things of this world and focus on God.
- As Jesus and His disciples at a banquet feasting with tax collectors and sinners, those coming to question Jesus, were fasting (Mark 2:18).
- Likely with gloomy face, disheveled hair and old clothes, they ask why His disciples are not as outwardly righteous as they were, fasting on the customary days.
Matthew 9:15, 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.
- The Pharisees made room in their lives to fast on Mondays and Thursdays, but there was no room for Jesus.
- Jesus was telling them, the bridegroom is here, there was not need to mourn, but to celebrate.
- This highlights an important truth for us as well, our lives should be different with Jesus in them.
Illus. Its written all over your face!
- Since Jesus had disciples, the Pharisees expected Him to be teaching them their ways, the old ways, the way of burdensome religion.
- The problem was, there were structures and traditions in place that would be challenged, stretched, and blown wide open if there was no room for Jesus in their current construction.
Romans 12:2, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.
- It is critical that we are continually seeking to make room for Jesus. That we don’t become rigid, but that we recognize our need to make room for Jesus, to look to Him and open our hearts and lives to the changes He wants to bring about.
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.
A.Consider your current construction
Matthew 9:16, 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.
- Jesus came to make all things new. In giving the illustration of using a new piece of cloth to patch up an old garment, He is using an illustration that all would understand.
- If you cut up a new pair of jeans in order to patch up your favorite old pair of wranglers, it’s not going to work. The new cloth will shrink, it will pull the stitching, and the hole you were trying to patch will become even bigger.
- He was telling them that He hadn’t come to patch up the old system, the gospel could not be patched into Judaism (or any other system of salvation
Isaiah 43:18-19, “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. “Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.
- The former things, the familiar, that with which we know, is often where we find the most comfort.
- So, when it comes to which way I should go, I will rely on experience, what I have done before, or what I have grown comfortable with…But the Lord wants to do something new!
- People had begun to follow the way of the Pharisees, and they were quick to give a list of do’s and don’ts that would make them right before God.
John 14:6, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
- For the Pharisees, if you weren’t doing it this way, or that way, you were doing it the wrong way. But Jesus came to make a new way.
Illus. Why cut the roast?
- They wanted their system patched up, Jesus wanted it packed up.
- In consideration of your current construction, you look at the very foundation upon which your life has been built.
Matthew 7:24-25, Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
Isaiah 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
- In considering my construction, I have the opportunity to look for the places in which my life is not being built upon His Word, to consider if and where my ways are getting in His way.
- Once I understand just how large the gap between His ways and my ways exactly is, I then need to begin stretching toward what He has for me. Leaving behind what was and straining toward what is ahead (Phil. 3:14)
- Why didn’t the Pharisees know what was going on? There was no room for Jesus in their current framework…
- Is what Jesus is wanting to do incompatible with your current construction?
Matthew 9:17, 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.
- In Bible times, people stored wine in the skin of a dead animal (generally goats), which would be sewn around in all places except the neck, where the wine would be poured in, it would then be sewn up, making watertight bags called wineskins.
- The skin of dead animals was used as it was available and flexible.
- The wineskins needed to remain flexible because as new wine fermented, it would expand, and the wineskin would be stretched.
- As the wineskins aged, they would become brittle, inflexible, and rigid. If new wine were poured into old wineskins, they would burst open and all that was poured into them would be lost.
Illus. You’re really changing some things.
John 5:39-40, You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.
- In other words, they were missing it!
- Interestingly, the wineskins were most flexible when they were closest to the death of that from which it came.
- In order to become like fresh wineskins, what needs to come to an end, be crucified, so that Jesus can be glorified.
Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
- I want to be renewed, restored, made new, available for the Lord to use…But what if that is attached to my letting go?
- So quick we are to say, “God fill us,” and shortly thereafter as “okay, we’re done.” That’s getting uncomfortable, I am being stretched beyond my ability…
- I would argue He might say, “that’s the point.”
John 3:30, He must increase, I must decrease.
- Wine is depicted in Ephesians 5:18 as a symbol of the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit continually pours out upon His people.
- But, are we willing to receive that which is being poured out and into us?
- Is there any room for the Lord to do something new in your life? To use you in a new way, for a new work, can the Lord pour that which is new into you?