Matthew 9:14-17

During the season of Lent our devotions have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church.  Today’s writers are Jon and Nancy Holmes.

Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” Matthew 9:14-17

This verse made us think a lot. What did it actually mean? And more importantly, what did it mean to us? We think it was about thinking differently.

The old covenant from God was about following the law. John the Baptist’s message was focused on the law. When you look at God’s law, you realize how far short you fall from it and how badly you need to repent. That is the way we were raised. “It is never wrong to do the right thing!” We would go to church, and that is what we were supposed to do.

When we got married and were ready to start a family, we joined Faith Lutheran Church. That seemed like the right thing to do. Then with life’s experiences and maturity, we realized there was more to it than just doing the right thing. That is what this verse is about.

Trusting in the new covenant and realizing the prophecy was the “truth”. Jesus did not come to patch up the old religious system and get everyone back on track to follow the law. His purpose was to bring something new.

This new message, the gospel, was to offer all people forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God. The Gospel did not just follow the rituals. It was a fresh start.

When we follow Christ, we must be prepared for new ways to live, new ways to look at people, and new ways to serve. Now it is not about just going to church on Sunday and trying “to do the right thing”. It is about trying to follow Jesus and serve him. In following, we do the right thing.

Let us pray: Thank you God for sending your Son to give us a fresh start. Help us to keep our heart open to listening to new things that honor your name. Help us to do the right thing by following you and your word. In your name, In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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One Response to “Matthew 9:14-17”

  1. Carolee Says:

    I like your “take” on this passage, “doing the right thing”. We may follow the law, the rules, the doctrines, but when God sent His Son it changed everything. Jesus brought the “Good News” to all, the gospels of truth were told. And by Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection we were saved; saved by grace and the love of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. We did not have “to do the right thing”; all we had to do was follow Him, trusting and believing in His Word. For we sinners this is not always easy, but we strive to follow “the way, the truth, and the light”. God will lead us in His mercy.

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