The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Chrissie Connolly. I'm a long term member of St. Mary's, who loves having adventures around the globe.

Luke 5: 33-39

Jesus questioned about fasting

33 They said to him, 'John's disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking.'

34 Jesus answered, 'Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? 35 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.'

36 He told them this parable: 'No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, "The old is better."'
 
On first reading this passage there is a lot to take in. At this time Jesus, finds himself being questioned by the Pharisees and John the Baptist's disciples about his discipleship methods. To them Jesus is acting outside of normal Jewish customs, such as fasting. To help their understanding Jesus uses parables to convey his message. He describes how no friend of a groom would fast on a wedding day, how new garments would not be used to mend old garments and how old wineskins would not be used for new wine. Here Jesus is the groom at the wedding banquet and his disciples the friends that are celebrating with him. The parables of the garments and wineskins describes how Jesus is the new way. This does not mean that the old ways are no longer valuable, as in verse 39 he describes the old wine being better than the new, but they are different.

If we look at this as a whole we see that Jesus is talking about a wedding being a time of celebration and we are invited. Unlike the Pharisees, Jesus' disciples were from many walks of life, with different educational and social backgrounds. We need to look past all the rules and regulations to look at Jesus. He is with us right here, right now, and he is inviting us to a time of celebration. There may be ups and downs in life, however a life with God is lived to the full (John 10:10).

Reflection

Have you accepted Jesus' invitation into your life?

How is having Jesus here with you having an impact on your life?

Are you in celebration or trying to keep to the rules?

Spend some time now listening to some worship songs in celebration of Jesus being with you and the Holy Spirit guiding you through life.

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