TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Matthew 9:14-17
BOTTOM LINE: Our Life Right Now might be the SCENE, but It Doesn’t Have to be the STORY!
QUESTION: Do we realize that God didn’t send Jesus to try to Clean Us Up? What is the New Covenant and How Does It Work for Me?
DOWNLOAD: HOLY FRIENDS: Someone who challenges the Sins in our life that we’ve grown to love! Someone who affirms the Gifts we’re afraid to claim; And someone who helps us Dream the Dreams we would otherwise never Dream.
A Parable is a story designed to teach us a lesson through comparison. In other words … when we hear the story, we can relate it to our own life.
The P’s of Parables …
- The PASSAGE – what’s the passage? Is it mentioned some other place in the Bible, or just this 1? If so, which one do we want to use as the MAIN point of reference?
- The PARAMETERS – these are often written in a historical context … Jesus uses culture, historical events, etc… We just need to understand all we can about the culture.
- The PROBLEM – What is the problem that prompted the Parable? Jesus was often dealing w/ a Question or an Attitude … sometimes BOTH. Sometimes the question was even un-spoken, remember, He could read their minds.
- The PROGRESSION – What is the flow? Does it center around Characters (biographical), the sequence of events (chronological), a logical argument, etc…?
- The PRESENTATION – Analyze and organize the Outline the events of the story so I can study according to the Progression I choose.
- The POINT – What’ the central Truth or Point? And there’s often a POINT for every CHARACTER in the Parable.
- The PROGRAM of God – how does this relate to the Kingdom of God?
- The PARTICULARS – Are there any additional details that need to be understood? How do they relate to the Central Truth?
- The PRINCIPLES – How do we APPLY this to our life?
We’re starting by looking at The Parables of Jesus, and we talked about how God uses all sorts of different ways to speak to us in His Collection of 66 Books called the Bible … Poems, Narrative Literature, Song, Personal Letter … and how sprinkled into all of these genres are Figures of Speech and Word Pictures that highlight what is being said … and the form that a writer or speaker chooses to use in order to communicate his or her message indicates it’s meaning or how it should be treated or interpreted.
Jesus was a Master Story Teller. For example: Jesus could have given us a 1-hour lecture on Who my Neighbor Is? He could have talked for hours on How to Treat Someone in Need? Instead of writing a Theological Thesis on these, Jesus simply told the story of The Good Samaritan. It wasn’t a lecture they needed, it was a story that had the potential of softening their hard-hearts.
What would it be like to become a BETTER YOU?
Jesus didn’t conduct His ministry as the Pharisees thought He should, and even the Disciples of John the Baptist failed to understand the unusual style of Spiritual Leadership at times. So, Jesus once again breaches traditional religion rather than compromise in order to gain the Popular Vote.
1. THE NEW QUESTION … vs. 14
Not only did the Pharisees question Jesus’ participation in this feast w/ tax collectors and sinners … but the Disciples of John the Baptist also came and asked Jesus about taking part in the feasts
2. THE NEW BRIDEGROOM … vs. 15
In other words, the Kingdom is like a great feast … like a wedding banquet. Jesus just had this amazing way of relating to things they could understand didn’t He?
He refers to a Jewish Wedding Feast. The attendants of the Bridegroom are the people who act in his interest, they bring the Bride to Him. Then Jesus inserts Himself into the story as THE BRIDE GROOM.
3. THE NEW GARMENTS … vs. 16
Jesus now uses 2 illustrations from everyday life to poi tout the fundamental tension between the Old Forms of worship and religion in Judaism, and the New Spirit and grace of the Messianic age. FIRST … he starts w/ the New Garment.
4. THE NEW WINE … vs. 17
Jesus used a 2nd analogy of the new wine in verse 17 … to try to paint a portrait of the same message.
In Biblical days, and even today in areas of Palestine, wine was NOT stored in bottles, but in skins sewed around the edges to form watertight bags.
The skin was often from a Goat, and the Head and Feet of the animal were removed. The skin was stripped off whole. It was then tanned, and the openings sewn up leaving 1 leg or Neck as an opening, then the skins could be used to transport liquids.
FRESH WINE in Old Wineskins would burst the leather, and Jesus is saying here, the Legalistic Judaism will not be able to handle the Power & Truth & Grace of Jesus.
Israel was too rigid and unresponsive to carry His message to the World. So God would use the New Covenant Church to accomplish this New Mission … this is US!
Jesus didn’t come to patch up the old system of Judaism … with all its rules and traditions. His purpose was to bring in something NEW … though it had been prophesied for centuries. This New Message … The Gospel … is that Jesus Christ, God’s Son … came to the earth to offer all people forgiveness of sins, and reconciliation w/ God.
Jesus used these Mini-Parables hoping to help prepare those who had chosen to follow Him, and the truth is … it’s just as applicable for us today too isn’t it?
The message of The Gospel is Too Fresh and Too Vital and Too Alive to be attached and stored in an Old Garment …
The New Wine of the New Covenant that was birthed because Jesus came … it’s Too Vibrant and Too Potent to be placed in a rigid and inflexible system.
And what Jesus was going to do demanded a New Vessel to contain and transmit His message … He will deposit His Gospel and Spirit into a New Wineskin … The Church … You and Me!
It’s the SCENE, but it’s not THE STORY
Can I just say this today? God isn’t trying to clean us up. He’s not waiting on us to try to clean ourselves up. The truth is, God’s Love for us,and the Work God will do in our lives can’t be contained in our Old Wineskin.
And for some of us, we pause for a moment, and we’re like … there’s no way God can make my life NEW! Maybe the scene of our lives today seems so out of control, and so desperate … and honestly … we have no idea what’s next … or where to turn … and there’s no way God could love us enough to make us New Again?
And I guess my encouragement for any of us there today would be this … That might be a SCENE … but it doesn’t have to be the STORY of our life!
Jesus came that might be MADE NEW, given NEW LIFE, in a NEW WINESKIN. Maybe the Beginning doesn’t have to be our Ending? The Layover we’re experiencing right now does not have to be our Final Destination.