Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Get Ready for Christ’s New - Luke 5:29-39


Get Ready for Christ’s New

Text: Luke 5:29-39

 Introduction: It’s the New Year 2024 and with the promise of the new year also comes the challenge. The New Year can mean new opportunities, new paths, new places, new ideas, and new hope. It can also mean new difficulties, new problems, new hurts. With the potential of the new also comes the problems, with the change of the new also comes the challenge. If we are not prepared for the problems, then we miss the potential.

The newness of life in Christ does not erase the difficulties of the old life. Oh yes, praise the Lord, that new life means new birth, it gives us a new name, it gives us a new heart, but it does not give us new flesh, nor does it erase our memories of our old life, or past sins. This problem of living the new Christian life was something that Paul, Peter, James, Jude dealt with in many times in the New Testament, but the most striking teaching about the new life is taught by Jesus himself in Luke 5:29-39. Get ready for Christ’s New clothes, new wine and a truly new life.

New Friends - Luke 5:29-35

29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.

Messiah Meets Matthew’s Motley Mates.

Background:  This lesson from Jesus was given because the Pharisees were criticizing Jesus and his disciples. Levi, who is Matthew, had accepted Christ as his Savior, he now had a new heart and a new birth. He was called then to follow Jesus into a new life as an apostle.  So naturally, he threw a party. The Greek word here is a reception. He invited all his publican (tax collector), societal outcast, sinner friends to meet Jesus. The Bible says, in vs. 29, “and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.” It was a big party and in the area it was a big deal. This happened right after Jesus had healed the man let down through the roof.

At this “super supper for sinners” (Maybe that should have been my title.) sat Jesus, the guest of honor and the other disciples. The Pharisees, the moral watchdogs of Jewish society and self-appointed judges of who was going to be the Messiah, showed up and stood outside of Matthew’s home to check out Jesus and his behavior. They began to murmur. This word originally meant the sound made when doves gather together and begin to coo. They whispered and talked, and the sound made a noise heard even in this great reception. Finally, Jesus either because He had to deal with the noise or perhaps as he left at the end of the feast, tried to reach out to the Pharisees, just as he had been reaching out to Matthew’s lost friends.

the Pharisees started asking some critical questions not because they wanted an answer but because they wanted to influence and direct Jesus and his disciples. They asked, “Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?” Jesus answered them, “They that are well don’t need a physician; but they that are sick do. I come to call sinners not the righteous to repent.” This was Jesus saying, “You aren’t here seeking help and therefore I can’t help you.”

Then they asked, “Why do John’s disciples fast often, and pray, just like the disciples of the Pharisees; but yours eat and drink and don’t fast?  He answered, “Can you make the guests at a wedding fast, even as they celebrate while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away. When those days come, then they will fast.”

Then Jesus explained to the Pharisees why they were having such a hard time with Him and His way of teaching and living.

The parable he gives in verse 36 is a sharp reminder of something that is sometimes very difficult for us. We have been giving a new life, but we must understand that this new life can’t be assimilated or made to agree with the old life. The two are no longer compatible. The harder we try to make our new life get along with our old ways, the more difficult it’s going to be to live that new life.

Jesus goes on in vs 36 to more deeply explain the radical change that is made by a knowing Him.

New Ways - Luke 5:36-38

And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.

New Garments and New Wine

Jesus starts with common, everyday things and then takes the people from the everyday truths they easily understand to eternal truths the need to understand, from a physical reality to the spiritual lesson.

This is how a parable works. It takes an earthly story and then teaches a heavenly truth. And no one was better at it than Jesus. Parables weren’t new, the Greek philosophers used them all the time, but no one remembers any of their parable and most of forgotten the names of the philosophers, but even in our neo-pagan world people still know the parable of the prodigal son or the good Samaritan. They parables are part of the foundation of our society, or at least they used to be and should still be. So let us take some time and examine this story.

1st Parable - New Patches Don’t work on Old Clothes. Jesus says you can’t take a piece of new cloth and sew it on an old garment because you would ruin both.

Now this takes place in the times before pre-washed jeans and synthetic cloth that doesn’t shrink. But in Jesus’ day when cloth was made by hand from wool or linen. If you had an old piece of clothing and it torn you wouldn’t patch it with new cloth because the new cloth would draw up and shrink when it was washed while the old would not. This could tear the cloth and make the original tear even worse.

Jesus is telling the Pharisees, “You can’t take what I am giving and use it to try and repair what you have. The new will only tear up the old leaving both the new and the old useless.”

2nd Parable New Wine Doesn’t Go in Old Wineskins - Next Jesus says, “No man puts new wine into old bottles, because the new wine would burst the bottles and everything both wine and bottles would be lost.”

The bottles Jesus is talking about were goatskins. The goat skin was cleaned and tanned, then the leg tied off and a spout put in the neck forming a bottle. Back then though, these bottles, goatskins used for transporting wine, especially new wine, which is unfermented wine, in other words grape juice.

If you had to carry new wine, which was any less than 40 days old, you had to use a new wine skin. The new wine if put in an old goatskin would come in contact with residue of the yeast of the old wine left in the goatskin and begin to ferment. The old skin would then burst. New wine was carried in new wineskins, new bottles so it would not ferment, burst the skin and destroy the shipment.

Jesus was trying to tell the Pharisees you can’t take the New of who I am, and what I teach and put it in with the old of Judaism and the Law. The new life of Christ will not work with the old life of sin. The new way of Christ will not work with the old ways of tradition. The new relationship in Jesus will not work with the old rituals.

Are You Really Ready of Jesus’ New Life?

When you read scripture, do you place yourself in the story? You should, of course, because no other book is like the Bible. No other book is supernatural, and no other book was written by God’s direction specifically to you. So, If you placed yourself in this story would you be at the feast with a bunch of sinners and thieves or would you be on the street outside the home whispering about a preacher being in there with all those sinners?

We can see that Jesus didn’t fit the old perceptions and the old ways of the Pharisees. 

We understand that but our problem is that we too often think He does fit into our perceptions and ways. What Jesus does in us and to us through salvation is shocking, overpowering and incomprehensible. It is anything but understandable to our human minds, possible to our human hearts or doable in our human strength. Yet that is what we often what we try and make it into.

We try to take who Jesus is and what Jesus does and make it all fit into our old life and our old way of thinking. But, it can’t be done. Jesus just told us so. Just like the old garment and the old wineskins it will tear us up. Jesus didn’t come to repair Judaism, he came to replace it. Jesus didn’t come to patch up your past, He came to give you a new future.

At the end of the Bible in Revelation 21:5, Jesus sums up what he did in time, history, the new creation and in new lives. He says, “Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

Jesus brings the new to all of my life. He brings it at salvation, and he brings it to us every time we need it. Our challenge is to learn and walk in this truth and then find the power and the hope of the declaration of Jesus, “Behold, I make all things new!”

But many lives are ruined because they want the power and hope of the new life, but they want to put it in the wineskin of their old life, and it can’t be done. They want the love of Christ to just put a patch on the gaping holes of their old life instead of putting on the new garment of His righteousness. Such attempts can only result in empty lives and broken hearts.

It’s true of our lives and its true of our families. The attempt to protect your family with a little inoculation of church once a week won’t work. In fact, and you know this it will only ruin your family and ruin the church for your family. Both will be ruined, just as Jesus said.

Many churches are also trying to fit new patches to old garments or new wine in old wine skins. It won’t work. You can’t take the Gospel and put it into a Star Wars or Indiana Jones presentation for lost people and then expect them to be changed from by that watered down, worldly, wasted word. Nor can you expect a church to seek the power of Jesus’ new hope but bury it in our old traditions and expectations.

The Experience of Useless Garments – Oswald Chambers

The Holy Spirit does not patch up our natural virtues, for the simple reason that no natural virtue can come anywhere near Jesus Christ’s demands. God does not build up our natural virtues and transfigure them, He totally recreates us on the inside.

True of our lives, true of our families, true of our churches.

New Kidney for an ungrateful old church member.

I heard a story of a pastor who urged his church to help a fellow member who needed a kidney.  The church members were tested and the pastor was the best match.  He gave his kidney to a dying church member.  What a gift! You know how grateful that church member was?  A few months later he left the membership in anger and quit attending, but he did come back just in time to join in a vote to kick the pastor out of the pulpit. How could he do such a thing? I think he was a modern-day Pharisee. He has been taking God’s gifts, putting them into his old life and then turning on the giver for years. So, this was nothing.

If you think that is a rare story among the Lord’s churches, well you need to think again. Many Christians have tried to relate to God through their old way of living only to have their life turn to bitter. Once that happens it is easy to spread that bitterness to others. You can’t put new wine into old wineskins. You can’t put the new love and power of Jesus into your old life, the first loses its power and the second turns rancid.  

Why do we do this ? Jesus has the answer in vs. 39

New Desire Luke 5:39

39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

People Prefer The Past

Jesus says man likes the old better. No man having drunk the new wine right away wants it because he says the old is better.

The new can be shocking, it tastes sharp and makes you take notice. While, the old is mellow and comfortable. It is pleasant because it is what we are familiar with, what we’ve come to expect.

The Pharisees didn’t want to lose what they were comfortable with.

They were the leaders of religion, not Jesus. They didn’t have sinners at their supper tables, just pious, self-righteous saints. There were no surprises or shocks in their way of doing things.  It was what they expected and what they wanted.

Pass the Past To Negotiate The New

Now, none of us want to be Pharisees, the villains of the New Testament.  Yet I can still act like a Pharisees if I hold on to my old ways and reject the new way of Jesus. If I refuse to release the old ways of legalism, of pride, of tradition, or worldliness and replace those things with the new man in Christ, then at least in my actions I am more a Pharisee than a child of God and disciple of Christ.

We mentioned at the beginning of the sermon how many times this is taught in the New Testament. Look at Ephesian 4:17-24 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

That sounds great, I want to do that. So, why wouldn’t I put on the new man? Its because of the comfortable old shirts, and familiar old pews.

You know I have some shirts in my closet that are years old. They are faded, stained and may have a few holes in them but if it wasn’t for my wife I’d probably wear them in the pulpit. (A good broad tie from the 1970s will cover that any salsa stain.) Why would I do that, because they are comfortable, familiar, easy to put on.

We are the same way at church.  There is nothing better than coming to church and seeing old friends. Friends you’ve grown up with, friends you’ve shared sorrow and laughter with.  There is nothing better than coming to where your friends are and sitting in your own favorite place on a comfortable pew or chair and enjoying a comfortable Sunday. Do you know what can ruin your comfortable Sunday? Coming to church and seeing a stranger, especially one sitting in your place.  “That’s my place! Why didn’t they wait, like good visitors, until I came in and sat down first.”

Does this seem exaggerated? Let me tell you a true story about my first Sunday at Bayshore Baptist Church.  We came that Sunday early, since as a candidate for Pastor I wanted to make a good impression. After we had set down an older gentleman, walked up to us and without even introducing himself told us we were sitting in his pew.  I laughed and apologized thinking he was kidding.  He told me it was his pew because he had marked the end of it with his pocket knife and sure enough there was a notch in the pew nearest the aisle. He decided to let us stay there this week but next week, if we came back, not to sit in his pew. That man was so comfortable with the old he was willing to offend a visiting preacher or guest of the church.

What we can joke and laugh about when it comes to old shirts and pews is heartbreaking when it comes to our relationship with Christ and the need for the new in our lives and in our church.

You see, Christ is always pushing us to new things, always challenging us to new heights, always forcing us to reevaluate everything we thought was fine. That’s Jesus and that’s not easy or comfortable, but if I am to really discover the power of a new life in Christ, I better getting used to “New clothes and New Wine.”

Continuous Conversion – Oswald Chambers

These words of Our Lord are true of our initial conversion, but we have to be continuously converted all the days of our lives, continually to turn to God as children. If we trust to our wits instead of to God, we produce consequences for which God will hold us responsible. Immediately our bodies are brought into new conditions by the providence of God, we have to see our natural life obeys the dictates of the Spirit of God. Because we have done it once is no proof that we shall do it again. The relation of the natural to the spiritual is one of continuous conversion, and it is the one thing we object to. In every setting in which we are put, the Spirit of God remains unchanged and His salvation unaltered, but we have to “put on the new man.” … Our natural life must not rule, God must rule in us.


One of the saddest aspects of my Christian life is that I’m no longer shocked by Christ.

I’m not shocked because I’ve made Him fit my old way of thinking and doing. He fits in nicely with my traditions and my routines. I’ve made him into a comfortable shirt and He sits beside me in my comfortable pew and I make sure he never, ever surprises me.

I don’t know how to tell you this but that’s not Jesus. That’s a cardboard cutout of the Lord and there is no life, no challenge and ultimately no joy in that kind of relationship. Yet many are willing to accept it because it’s what we are used to, what we are comfortable with.  Old wine tastes better to the old man.

The Legacy of Oswald Chambers

Despite a successful Bible School and respect as a much sought-after Baptist Preacher and evangelist he gave it up to face the challenge of the Jesus’ new by serving as a chaplain in Egypt to the British soldiers of WWI.

There at only 43 years old, he died from a ruptured appendix after suffering for three days, leaving behind his wife and young daughter. He probably could have been saved if he had gone to the hospital, but he refused to take a bed when wounded soldiers needed them.

Such a death is shocking in anyone but to someone so used by the Lord as Oswald Chambers it seems incomprehensible.

Oswald died leaving behind his wife Gertrude (Biddy) and a very young daughter Kathleen, they traveled back to England and scraped by the rest of her life by running a boarding house. And every night when everyone else was asleep she would pull out an old typewriter and reading notes she had taken in shorthand from her husband’s lectures and sermons she would type. Those notes were transformed into several books the most famous of which is the devotional book “My Utmost For His Highest” which was first printed in 1935, is now in 39 languages with over 13 million copies and has never been out of print since it was first published. It is considered the most popular and influential devotional book ever written.

Now that is pretty surprising, shocking and it happened because Oswald Chambers didn’t make Jesus fit into his old life, but let Jesus have and do with his new life as Jesus would use him.

So, what has Jesus surprised you with lately? What has shocked you in His challenge to your life? If it has been a while perhaps its time you took a look at where you are and where He is in your life. As we start a new year, let’s all be willing to taste the new wine and put on the new man every day.

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