Out with the old, in with the new
Updated: Sep 4, 2019
In the latter part of Mark 2. Jesus is questioned about his disciples and their behavior. The issue at hand is that the followers of the Pharisees and the followers of John are adhering to the ritual of fasting, but the followers of Jesus are not. Jesus' reply to this is found in Mark 2:19-22. As is often the case with Jesus, he uses metaphors to get his message across.
The first metaphor is of a wedding. He says, " Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The day will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day." Jesus gives us key insight here into what fasting, in those days, entails. More often than not, fasting was (is) a means of expressing mourning, or it is a practice designed to seek the presence of God. Jesus is saying, There is no need to fast while I am here! You are in the presence of God right now! This is not a time of mourning, but of celebration! The King has come to turn this upside-down world back upright, and you better get on board because the old way and the new way do not mix well.
He continues this theme with the remaining two metaphors, the clothing and the wine skins. He says, "No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wine skins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins- and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wine skins." His point is that, his new way, is not merely a patch over the old way, or that his new wine can simply be held by old wine skins.
That's how it is when we encounter Jesus isn't it? When we submit to him and become a new creation, we find that the old way of living and the new life we have been given, don't mix too well. This is obvious when it comes to changing our sin patterns, but its also noticeable in our shift in worldview. We now see the disadvantaged differently. We learn that it truly is better to give than to receive. We can fully grasp that the last shall be first. We can appreciate those that demonstrate strength through meekness. We begin to respect the peacemakers and ignore the divisive. We now know that love always triumphs over hate. It is no longer strange to us that Jesus washed his disciples feet! Of course he did!
Out with the old way, and in with the new!