Vol. 18, No. 29 – August 4, 2019
III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men, Luke 4:14 – 9:50.
A. The Announcement of His Ministry, Luke 4:14-30.
B. The Authority of His Ministry, Luke 4:31-6:11.
1. Over demons, Luke 4:31-37.
2. Over disease, Luke 4:38-44.
3. Over the disciples, Luke 5:1-11.
4. Over defilement, (a leper healed), Luke 5:12-16.
5. Over defectiveness, (a paralytic healed), Luke 5:17-26.
6. Over the despised, (the call of Matthew and parables about new vs. old), Luke 5:27-39.
6. Over the despised, (the call of Matthew and parables about old vs. new), Luke 5:27-39. Here Jesus is demonstrating His authority over the despised in three ways, Luke 5:27-39.
There are three parts to this section:
- The first is the call of Matthew where he throws a large dinner party for Jesus, vs. 27-32.
- The second is Jesus’ rebuke of the grumblings of the Pharisees by the bridegroom analogy, vs. 33-35.
- The third is Jesus’ parables about old vs. new, using wine and wineskins in analogy, vs. 36-39.
2. The second section shows Jesus’ rebuke of the grumblings of the Pharisees where he uses the bridegroom analogy, vs. 33-35.
Luke 5:33, “And they said to Him, “The disciples of John often fast and offer prayers, the disciples of the Pharisees also do the same, but Yours eat and drink’.”
In Matthew’s Gospel, this question is presented to Jesus by the disciples of John the Baptist, Mat 9:14, and in Mark’s, both John’s and the Pharisees’ disciple’s pose the question, Mark 2:18, not just the Pharisees’, as Luke seems to indicate.
“Fast,” is the verb NESTEUO, νηστεύω, which is a compound of the prefix NE, “not,” and ESTHIO, “to eat,” and means, “to not eat, to fast, or abstain from food.” Luke only uses it in this narrative, three times, and for the self-righteous Pharisee in Luke 18:12. Mark only used it for this narrative, Mark 2:18-20, and Matthew too, Mat 9:14-15, plus in Mat 6:16-17, for the Lord’s teachings on proper fasting, and in Mat 4:2, for the Lord’s fasting 40 days and 40 nights. In preparation for the revelation of God, Jesus fasted, like Moses did, Ex 34:28, in order to be equipped to confirm the Messianic authority and power with which He had been invested.
Luke also used it in Acts 13:2-3, during the setting apart of Paul and Barnabas for their missionary work. The Noun and Adjective are also used in the NT. We will note the importance of “fasting” below.
John’s “disciples,” MATHETES, are said to “often” PUKNA, πυκνὰ meaning, “frequently,” “fast” and “offer prayers,” POIEO DENSEIS, δεήσεις that means, “request, petition, prayer, or supplication.” Only Luke uses it in the Gospels, but it is used throughout the Epistles for “prayers and supplications.” Therefore, these are petitionary prayers. As such, there was a link between prayers and fasting, even in Jesus’s time.
“Do the same” in the Greek is HOMOIOS, ὁμοίως that means, “in like manner, likewise, similarly, etc.” The ones that fast and pray like John’s disciples are the Pharisees’ disciples.
Then we see that Jesus’ disciples are accused of not fasting, and therefore praying, as they should, using the contrasting Conjunction DE for “but yours,” and the Present, Active, Indicative of the verbs ESTHIO and PINO, for “eat and drink.”
Interestingly, they cite their own actions and authority, not the Scriptures. They generalize from their example to everyone else. This is self-righteous arrogance!
The first step in becoming a self-righteous Pharisee is using your own personal example as a requirement for everyone else to obey. Sounds like our society today, a bunch of Pharisees, though they abhor religion! Interesting!
So, what is this all about? This accusation towards Jesus’ disciples actually charged them of not living the proper spiritual life unto God. Interestingly, this indictment was understood similarly from both the secular world from the ancient pagan societies and a Jewish context; both from a religious understanding. You see, “eating and drinking” meant in both these contexts, that Jesus and His disciples where actually in league with demons. In ancient antiquity “fasting” was used to:
- Ward off evil spirits, demonic possession, who could gain power over men through eating.
- A custom of mourning the dead, because if the soul of a dead person is near, there is danger of demonic infection through eating and drinking.
- Preparing for intercourse with a deity and reception of ecstatic / magical powers. Therefore, if you “eat and drink,” you do not receive communication from the deity nor its power.
Therefore, “fasting” meant you would ward off evil spirits and be receptive to a deity’s communion and power. And with fasting came prayer, where you would be able to petition the deity. In Jewish thought, right up to Jesus’ day, it was much the same yet directed to YHWH, the True God and Deity.
God never directed the Israelites to fast other than on the “Day of Atonement,” Lev 16:29-31; 23:27-32; Num 29:7. This was a corporate fast, meaning for all the people to perform communally. It is simply called “the fast” in Acts 27:9, by Paul; a suggestion of its importance. Yet, the Lord never instructed individual fasting, although He did not condemn it either if done in a right way. As such, individually it was a voluntary observance. In the OT, fasting was a means of expressing grief, repentance, and humility, 2 Sam 1:12; 1 Kings 21:27; Jonah 3:7.
Contrastingly, just about every religious observances God ordained for the nation of Israel, He involved feasting and celebrating in community; not fasting!
According to tradition, the Pharisees fasted twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays, as we see the self-righteous Pharisee doing in Luke 18:12. By this time, it had become a common sign of piety for the Pharisees and the disciples of John, and they could no longer distinguish between God’s Law and their own oral traditions.
Nevertheless, fasting is used in both the Old and New Testaments in both a positive way and a negative way, cf. Isa 1:14; 58:3-6; Dan 9:3; Zech 7:5. Fasting is almost universally tied to prayer, cf. Luke 2:37.
Therefore, fasting and prayer, was not the issue as to being good or bad, but the underlining meaning and implications that both the non-Jews and Jews who were at the party would understand. In other words, Jesus and His disciples where also “sinners,” like the rest of the party goers, considered to be in league with Satan and the demonic forces. So, we see the tie-in with Jesus’ prior healings and demonic exorcisms, as He was deviously and subliminally being accused of being in league with Satan.
In addition, we see fasting associated with mourning the death of someone as in the ancient world, as they would fast because if the soul of a dead person is near, there was danger of demonic infection through eating and drinking. Fasting over the dead also happened in the OT:
- For tragic events, Judges 20:26; 1 Sam 31:13 = 1 Chron. 10:12; 2 Sam 1:12; 3:35; Esther 4:3; Jer 14:1–12; Joel 1:14; 2:12–15.
- For personal sorrow, 1 Sam 1:7–8; 20:34; Job 3:24; Psa 42:3; 102:4; 107:17–18.
One other note is that “eating” was the action of the first sin committed by man in the Garden of Eden, Gen 3:1-6. Therefore, “eating” has the additional connotation of sin and sinning. For sure, Jesus and His disciples were being called “sinners” by these self-righteous groups, along with the guests at Levi’s dinner, vs. 30.
Interestingly, Jesus uses this analogy along with reference to a wedding ceremony to rebuke the false accusations of the Pharisees, Scribes, their disciples and the disciples of John, as they continued to think that Jesus’ attendance at the dinner party scandalized their religion. Their comments illustrate that they are religious ascetics, people who believe you must avoid all forms of pleasure or self-indulgence as an act of self-discipline for religious purpose. The ascetic believes abstaining makes you godlier and that it pleases God. They think the severe treatment of the body and avoiding pleasure leads to holiness, cf. Col 2:20-23; 1 Tim 4:3.
Luke 5:34, “And Jesus said to them, ‘You cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you?’”
Here, Jesus’ evokes the analogy of a Jewish wedding or marriage. God often used it when promising Israel a Redeemer. Their Messiah would be their Bridegroom, despite Israel’s unfaithfulness during betrothal, Isa 54:5-8; 62:4-5; Jer 2:2; Ezek 16; Hosea 2:14-23.
In that occasion, the bridegroom’s friends went with the bridegroom to the bride’s house, and escorted her to her new home. Arriving at the bridegroom’s house, a feast usually lasting seven days ensued, Mat 22:4; Luke 14:8; John 2:8-9.
Bridegroom’s friends are here called the “attendants of the bridegroom,” which is actually in the Greek, the plural of HIOS, “sons,” and the singular Noun NUMPHON, νυμφών that means, “wedding hall or bridechamber,” So, literally it is, “sons of the bridechamber.” It is only used in this narrative in Mat 9:5; Mark 2:19; and our verse, plus Mat 22:10, for the Lord’s Parable of the Marriage Feast.
Mat 22:10, “Those slaves went out into the streets, and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.”
“Bridechamber,” is the room where a marriage is consummated. Going back to the secular use in ancient Greek, it was used in the context of pagan worship where in a temple sexual fertility rites were conducted. It is not used in the LXX of the OT.
In the NT it is a “wedding hall,” and with HIOS speaks to the “sons or children of the bridechamber.” This refers to those guests of the bridegroom closest to him who played a special role in the ceremonies (i.e., “bridegroom attendants”).
Jesus was pointing out that during the marriage celebration there was a feast for all to enjoy with eating and drinking. Therefore, during the wedding celebration, you would not ask the closest people to the “bridegroom,” NUMPHIOS, νυμφίος, to not eat. You would do just the opposite and encourage them to eat and drink, i.e., celebrate! In the analogy of a Jewish wedding, the bridegroom’s coming was a time of joy and indulgence, not gloom and denial.
““NUMPHIOS,” within Hellenism was used to convey the concept of the bride and bridegroom as analogous to the relationship of the Savior and men, particularly within the realm of the Gnostic oriented structures.” (Günther, “Marriage,” Colin Brown, 2:584).
In the LXX of the OT, it is used for “bridegroom,” in Jer 7:34; 16:9; 25:10, that would speak no more. Then, regarding the return and restoration of Israel from her captivity, the picture is used of the voice of the “bridegroom” that would speak once again and be heard in the land. Symbolically, the implication is that of the loss and eventual regaining of joy by a people who had disobeyed God, who had repented, and who then where restored. This is what Jesus was portraying about Himself and Israel. Further, it is figuratively used with regard to the relationship between God and the nation of Israel, Isa 61:10; 62:5.
In the NT, it is only used in the Gospels and once in Rev 18:23, and typically refers to Christ related to His believers, (i.e., the Church). It is also related to the Messiah.
Interestingly, John the Baptist is called the “friend of the Bridegroom,” in John 3:29, who played a key role in the marriage picture. He was an “attendant.” This should have had an impact on John the Baptist’s disciples who were part of Levi’s party interrogation of Jesus, Mat 9:14.
Luke 5:35, “But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.”
Here, the Lord alludes to His foreordained death for the first time, though Simeon had alluded to it earlier, Luke 2:35.
Jesus’ words predict, but do not command a fast. He commanded no such fasts while He was here, and the apostolic Church kept none. History shows that prescribed fasts typically become formal and tend to become Phariseeism.
Yet, He does say that the time for rejoicing would not last forever, as Jesus intimated He would be “taken away,” using the Aorist, Passive, Subjective of the Verb APAIRO, ἀπαίρω that is only used in this narrative in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This word prophesied Jesus’ coming departure. It was prophetic of His Crucifixion and Ascension.
When that happens, “they will fast,” which is the Future, Active, Indicative of the Verb NESTEUO, once again. Therefore, upon Jesus’ death and ascension to heaven, the attendants of the Messiah will fast due to mourning. On two occasions we see the disciples fasting after Jesus’ ascension, Acts 13:3; 14:23.
Interestingly, the believer in Christ should not be in a state of mourning, but perpetual imminence; expecting His return with joy. It seems that this may be addressed to Israel, who will be in a perpetual state of mourning at the loss of their Messiah, though subliminally! Then upon His return, there will be great rejoicing by all once again! Therefore, to the Scribes, Pharisees, and others religion it was a funeral; but to Jesus, it was a wedding feast!
These passages explain the friction which existed during the transition from the dispensation of Law to the dispensation of Grace, which is further explained in the following verses.
3. The third section is Jesus’ parables about old vs. new, using garments, wine, and wineskins in analogy, vs. 36-39.
Luke 5:36, “And He was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.”
Here, we have the great parable of our Lord about the old garments, wine, and wineskins versus the new.
“Tears,” is the Verb SCHIZŌ, σχίζω that means, “break, chop, cleave, divide, open, rend, separate, split, or tear.” Here, it is used for the analogy that old and new are not compatible. In reference to that, we also see this word used for the rending of the veil in the temple in Jerusalem from top to bottom after the death of Jesus on the Cross, Mat 27:51; Mark 15:38. This was a sign that access to God had been made possible because of the redemptive work of Christ upon the Cross, Heb 6:19; 9:8; 10:19-20. It was also used in John 19:24, when the soldiers as Jesus’ crucifixion decided to cast lots for Jesus’ garments rather than tearing them. Finally, Mark used SCHIZO to describe heaven opening for the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, Mark 1:10, which began Jesus’ ministry to make all things new, cf. 2 Cor 5:17; Rev 21:5.
Interestingly, several other words in our passage are also used in the crucifixion narrative, so we see that the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is highly in view in our passages.
“Piece of cloth” is the Greek Noun EPIBLEMA, ἐπίβλημα that means, “a patch.” It is only used in this narrative in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Luke uses it twice in the verse. In addition, in the LXX of Isa 3:22, it is used for “cloaks,” which reminds us of Jesus’ healings by touching His cloak in Mat 9:20; 14:38; Mark 5:27; 6:56; Luke 8:44, which, as we have been noting, points to Jesus’ healing of our sins through His completed work upon the Cross.
“New garment,” uses the Adjective KAINOS for “new” that means, “that which is new in nature and essence, that which is superior to the old.” In respect to form it means, “recently made, recent, unused, or unworn.” In respect to substance it means, “of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, or unheard of.”
Then we have the Noun HIMATION, ἱμάτιον that means, “garment, clothing, cloak, or robe.” This word is used extensively in the NT, including our Lord’s crucifixion when His garments were divided by the soldiers at His crucifixion, Mat 27:31-35; Mark 15:20, 24; Luke 23:34; John 19:23-24, according to prophecy, Psa 22:18. His crucifixion is what makes us “new” again!
“Old garment,” uses HIMATION once again, this time with the Adjective, PALAIOS, παλαιός that means, “old, ancient, worn out, or worthless.” Luke uses this Adjective in vs. 36 (twice), 37, 39 (twice) of this narrative. It is also used in Rom 6:6; 1 Cor 5:7-8; 2 Cor 3:14; Eph 4:22; Col 3:9, for comparisons of the old life vs. the new life in Christ.
Rom 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.”
1 Cor 5:7-8, “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
2 Cor 3:14, “But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.”
Eph 4:22, “That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit.”
Col 3:9, “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices.”
“Will not match,” uses the Negative OUK and the Future, Active Indicative of the Verb SUMPHONEO, συμφωνέω that means, “agree, make a deal, or be in alliance with.” In Greek literature it was used meaning, “sound together, be in harmony, or be in unison.” The word also carried the musical connotation of “harmonize.” It is used 6 times in the NT, typically for “agree” where two parties agree with each other or not, if the negative is used like it is here.
In our passage, it means that the two pieces of cloth, (which represent the old nature of man vs. the new nature of the believer), will not be compatible as Mark says they will “pull away from one another.” Further, the gospel of Jesus Christ was not to be a patch attached to the Mosaic Law. The Age of Grace in the NT grows out of the Old, Age of the Law. But although the seeds of the gospel are found in the old covenant, the gospel of Jesus and the Age of Grace are something new. It is not designed to blend with the old ritual system; it is entirely new. Therefore, the old life, (the Age of the Law, or the unregenerated man), is not compatible with the new life, (the Age of Grace, or the regenerated man in Christ).
Luke 5:37, “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.”
Turning from “garments,” which spoke of our Lord’s crucifixion and resultant healing of sin, Luke now relates Jesus’ “wine and wineskin” analogy.
“New wine,” uses the other Greek Adjective for “new” NEOS, νέος meaning, “new, fresh, young, or recently born.” Besides young, youthful, new in time, and recently born this Adjective also emphasizes new in quality or essence, similar to KAINOS, but with the emphasis of quality! So, we see the “born again” analogy.
“Wine” is the Noun OINOS, οἶνος that means, “wine, fermented grape juice, or fermented juice of other kinds.” It is used 33 times in the NT. Concerning our Parable of the Wineskins, the juice would be acted on by yeast from the old wineskins and would begin to foam. Such gases could split any wineskin, but especially an older one that was already stretched out. New wine would be grape juice (or a grapeade) made from grape syrup while old wine would be 2 to 3 years old. The alcohol content in that day was from 4-12 percent.
Wine has a dual usage of good and bad in the Bible, we see this in the first use of wine being an episode with Noah and his sons, Gen 9:21-24. The Hebrew for “wine” is YAYIN. The first usage of wine speaks of an act of sin where we see on one hand someone maliciously exposes sin, which is a further sin, and on the other hand someone covers sin. This is a great type and picture of salvation found in Christ verses the world. The world wants to expose your sins and run you down, as the Pharisees and Scribes are trying to do to Jesus, yet Christ covers all of our sins and lifts us up, Isa 40:31; James 4:10. Do you see the bitter/sweet analogy; Sin and the covering of sin!
Rom 4:7-8, “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. 8Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.” Cf. Psalm 32:1-2.
Psa 85:2, “You forgave the iniquity of Your people; You covered all their sin.”
This word also plays heavily in our Lord’s Crucifixion, as the soldiers tried to give Jesus “wine mixed with gall or myrrh,” or sour wine when He thirsted, Mat 27:14; Mark 15:23, which he refused. In other words, the new wine cannot be mixed with anything else. There is only one way to salvation and one form of the spiritual life and that is through Jesus Christ.
We also know that the “cup” our Lord used in the Passover celebration the night before His crucifixion contained wine, as was the tradition of the Passover. The “new wine life” is realized through the New Covenant Jesus won at the Cross, 1 Cor 11:25.
Wine is also used in several of Jesus’ healing narratives, Luke 10:34; John 4:46. It was also used in the first miracle Jesus performed, which was at the wedding in Cana, John 2:3-10; 4:46, when He turned the water into wine. We also see wine used regarding God’s judgment of the sinner in, Rev 16:19; 19:15. Interestingly, wine is also used negatively throughout the epistles and Revelation because of its ability to make one drunk, Rom 14:21; Eph 5:18; 1 Tim 3:8; Titus 2:3; Rev 14:8-10; 17:2; 18:3. So, we see in it the dual nature! See our website for the Doctrine of Wine, for more on the duality of its use in Scriptures.
“Old wineskins,” is the Adjective PALAIOS once again, with the Noun ASKOS, ἀσκός. It is a leather skin from an animal made into a bag or bottle. It is only used in this narrative in Matthew, Mark and Luke; the synoptic Gospels. Old Wineskins represents the Age of the Law and our unregenerate nature, living constantly under sin and the Sin Nature inside Satan’s Cosmic System, 1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 6:16.
“Will burst,” is the Future, Active, Indicative of the Verb RHEGNUMI ῥήγνυμι that means, “break, tear, throw down, or dash to the ground.” It is used of the “tearing by dogs or swine,” Mat 7:6, and of a demon-possessed person being dashed to the ground (convulsing) by a demon, Mark 9:18; Luke 9:42. So we see the tie-in to Jesus’ exorcisms and the accusations the Pharisees, Scribes, and John’s disciples were making towards Jesus and His disciples by eating and drinking rather than fasting, as we noted above.
“Will be spilled out,” uses the Future, Passive, Indicative of the verb EKCHUNO, ἐκχύνω that means, “pour out, shed, spill.” Only Luke uses it in this narrative, yet all three synoptic Gospels use it for our Lord’s Passover supper when He said “this is My blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins,” Mat 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20.
It is also used for the “pouring out” of God’s love who gives every believer the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Rom 5:5; cf. Acts 10:45.
Rom 5:5, “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
We also see its dual usage regarding judgment from God as it is found in Judas Iscariot’s final narrative, Acts 1:18, and in Jude 1:11 for those who “rush headlong,” (follow) in Balaam’s footsteps.
“And the skins will be ruined,” uses the Future, Middle, Indicative of the Verb APOLLUMI, ἀπόλλυμι for “ruined” that means, “destroy, ruin, kill, lose, be lost, perish, or to put to death.” It is one of three words in the NT, (the others are APOLEIA and OLETHROS), that convey the NT teachings on eternal destruction.
The message of the wrath of God upon unrepentant sinners is even more emphatic in the NT than in the Old. Whereas in the old covenant the warnings of God’s impending judgment often refer to retribution in this life, the perspective is different in the NT. As to the reward of righteousness and the punishment of sin, man will not share fully in them until the arrival of the world to come, just as salvation will be totally realized, so too will the warnings of the eternal punishment be fully experienced. It would be a total misunderstanding to think that God is milder or more tolerant of sin in the NT than He was under the old covenant.
“Punishment is an eternal and irrevocable loss. The punishment is the loss of Messianic eschatological salvation. The “lost ones” fail to reach the goal of salvation history. They will not be allowed to participate in the kingdom of God, the new age, eternal life, and the resurrected community of God, Mat 22:13; 25:41; 2 Thes 1:9; cf. Mat 16:26; Luke 9:25. To be without God eternally is to “live” an existence without the grace of God and outside of the realm of His love. In such an existence, the lost do not benefit from any of the spiritual or material blessings that they may have shared in this earthly life. God is the origin and source of life. Any existence apart from Him is no longer life, but death. Because eternal life itself is knowledge of God and the One He sent, Jesus Christ (John 17:3), it is eternal death to be separated from His fellowship.” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary.)
Luke 5:38, “But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”
Here is the contrasting argument.
“New wine” is NEOS OINOS, and “fresh wineskins” is KAINOS ASKOS, or “new wineskins.” This is speaking about the new spiritual life that is found in Christ Jesus that is put in the new creation of the regenerated born again believer.
“Must be put into,” is the Verbal Adjective BLETEOS, βλητέος that means, “must be put or thrown.” It implies necessity and propriety. It is only used by Mark and Luke in this narrative. Matthew uses the root word BALLO, “throw, cast, put, etc.”
Later Greek copies added to this verse what Matthew has, “and both are preserved together.”
“Preserved” is the Greek verb SUNTEREO, συντηρέω in the Present tense, Passive voice, Indicative mood, Third Person, Plural. This word means, “to preserve a thing from perishing or being lost, and to keep within one’s self, or keep in mind a thing lest it be forgotten.”
It was used in the Imperfect tense and Active voice to describe Mary’s treasuring up or pondering the things being said about the Babe in Luke 2:19, of John the Baptist being kept safe temporarily in Mark 6:19-20, and in the Kings James rendering of Luke 5:38, our next passage.
In Mat 9:17, the Passive voice says that the preserving is something received. Both the New Wine and New Wineskin will receive preserving, being kept safe. It means eternal security, 2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30.
When wine and wineskins are combined they represent your new spiritual life. Separately they speak to that which provided for that new life. As such, the New Wine represents the Word of God/Gospel of Jesus Christ first heard and believed on for your salvation and the Wineskin represents your regenerated human spirit that houses your new spiritual life. And all this is made possible during the new Age / Dispensation of Grace or the Church Age, which began on the day of Pentecost after our Lord’s ascension, and will terminate with the Rapture of the Church that ushers in the Tribulation. So, combined it speaks to the beginning and housing of your new spiritual life. According to Mat 9:17, both will be preserved.
Once again our Lord, was saying that the old forms of Judaism were not suitable for containing the new force of the new Age of Grace; the Church Age. There is a power in the new Age that needed a new container. The Church became that new container. New “containers” would be needed for the coming of the Holy Spirit. He needed new persons in whom He could dwell. That is why Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again,” John 3:7. Therefore, those who would believe on Christ become “new creatures,” (creations), a new spiritual species, 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15.
Gal 6:15, “For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.”
2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Luke 5:39, “And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough’.”
Here we have a new phrase that is not found in the other Gospels. In this passage, the Old Wine is eluded to be superior to New Wine. God is using earthly terms and Jesus is using a play on words. It is a juxtaposition; either a reversal or sarcasm.
“Good” here is the Adjective, CHRESTOS, χρηστός that means, “good, pleasant, easy, useful, serviceable, reputable, kind, or loving.” In this case, it means “suitable.” That is why the translators added “enough.” This word is also predominantly used in the NT for God’s goodness, as it also describes the qualities of being “kind, merciful, generous, etc.,” i.e., the Grace of God!
1 Cor 15:33, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals”.”
Rom 2:4, “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”
Eph 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Remember, this is a play on words and we can interpret it in two different ways, yet both give the same overall message.
First, we have a reversal of meaning. That is, the old wine was considered better than new wine; hence Jesus’ point that those who had drunk the old did not want the new. To the believer, in a reversal of meaning, the Old wine represents the better of the two, which is the new spiritual life, in the New Nature, in the new Dispensation. In this analogy, Christ is saying once we have tasted the superior Old Wine, (i.e., New Nature, New Age, etc.), we will not want to go back to the inferior New Wine (i.e., Old Nature, being under the Law, etc.).
Secondly, through another lens, this can also be sarcasm that speak to the legalistic religious types and worldly unbelievers who are of the Cosmic System, “Old Wine” (Satan’s counterfeit life), who will not want any of the new wine, (the new life in Christ). They are satisfied with the Cosmic System and will reject the newness of life that is found in Christ. This is an obvious allusion to the Pharisees and others who would not accept Jesus’ “new” life. The Pharisees had become steeped in the “old wine” of their traditions and rituals. They would not accept the “new wine” of the grace plan of God that provides a new creation in a new Dispensation. In their self-sufficiency and pride, they believed they needed nothing new. Judaism had been tried and found true; they wanted nothing else. In other words, these people are not looking for the new, they are satisfied with who they are and their good works. Therefore, they do not need God’s grace and goodness in their life.
In either case, the point is, there is a difference between the old and the new. Jesus was here to bring a new creation, with a new spiritual life, and a new Dispensation to live that life that was far better than the spiritual life of the old or past Dispensation; the Age of the Law.
So, our Lord is saying that the New Spiritual Life cannot reside inside our old self that was totally controlled by the sin nature or in the old way of the Law. We must have a New Nature for the New Spiritual life to live in. That is why God gives us the regenerated Human Spirit at the moment of salvation, so that our New Life has a place to reside and dwell. Likewise, the New Nature is the temple of the Holy Spirit. So, He too needs the regenerate New Wineskin to dwell in.
1 Cor 3:16, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
Therefore, A pivotal point had come into the history of Redemption: the Law had served a useful purpose as a “tutor,” Gal 3:24. But now, a new and living way was soon to begin providing direct access to God and the power of the indwelling Spirit to enable us to follow in the steps of Christ.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#19-077 & 19-078 & 19-079 & 19-080
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!