Read God's Word with me to start your week of right! Today's text is from Mark 2:18-22 (with Matt 9:14-17 and Luke 5:33-39 in parenthesis):
Once when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people (the disciples of John the Baptist) came to Jesus and asked, “Why don’t your disciples fast like John’s disciples and the Pharisees do?” (Why are your disciples always eating and drinking?)
Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests fast (mourn) while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can’t fast while the groom is with them. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
(Then Jesus gave them an illustration) “Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before. “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine (is stored in) calls for new wineskins (so that both are preserved).”
(But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine. 'The old is just fine,' they say.)
This entire passage develops several questions that we will ask this week and that I believe the people were asking Jesus then:
1. Tuesday - Are we doing the right thing?
2. Wednesday - Why are you different?
3. Thursday - Is it ok to enjoy our faith?
4. Friday - Am I willing to change?
Jesus was operating in a very different way than the other leaders during that time. It confused some and caused questions with others. This passage communicates one thing very clearly: Our God doesn't mind our heartfelt questions and He is patient to help us understand His ways.
Jesus not only explained Himself but He did so using three different illustrations: a wedding, old clothing and wine/wineskins. In that, I see the heart of our Savior. He strives with us. If we are truly desiring to understand His ways (and not just questioning out of stubborness or stall tactics) then He is patient to lead us into understanding.
When God sent Jesus to earth, He was doing a new thing in the New Covenant making a Way for us to become New Creations as we become followers of Jesus. His promise is still true today:
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. (James 4:8 NLT)
This week, as we ask questions and hear God's answers, come closer to God and see His promises fulfilled as He comes close to you!