New Wine, New Wineskin

by FLL Editorial Team

wineskins瑪竇福音 9:14-17

那些問耶穌為甚麼祂的門徒不禁食的人,其實是在吹毛求疵,並且暗示多次禁食的自己和法利塞人更守法律。但耶穌並沒有動怒。祂以新郎和伴郎的比喻來表示,祂的門徒在此時得到禁食的豁免,並暗喻自己就是那個新郎,因為若翰洗者否認自己是默西亞時,也用過新郎的比喻 -- 即默西亞是新郎,若翰自己只是新郎的朋友,所以耶穌是在重申自己是默西亞,並預兆自己將要接受苦難。



Matthew 9:14-17

People who asked Jesus why His disciples do not fast, are actually nitpicking and challenging His way of leading His disciples, while implying the Pharisees and themselves who fast often are more righteous. However, Jesus did not get upset, and used the parable of the bridegroom and groomsmen to explain while the groomsmen is still with the bridegroom, they're exempt from fasting. When John the Baptist denied being the Messiah, he also used the term bridegroom -- the Messiah is the bridegroom, while John the Baptist is only the groom's friend. Therefore by this Jesus reiterated He is the Messiah, and He will be taken away soon.

Jesus then talked about the patched cloth and wine and wineskin parables, and turned the people's accusation into an opportunity to teach. At that time people used wineskin to store wine, so they should know while new wineskin can hold new wine because it can stretch to hold the carbon dioxide gas being emitted, old wineskin that is already stretched out cannot, and will burst. On one hand Jesus was condemning the questioner and the Pharisees who cling to their interpretation of the Law rather than accepting the Gospel He proclaims, while finding ways to criticize Him; at the same time He is teaching His disciples: one cannot accept the Gospel while preserving their old ways of thinking and living. We have to be open and let go of our old values, and allow God's Word to transform us, to welcome the kingdom of God like new wineskin.