Friday, July 27, 2018

Parable of Jesus 1: Is It Worth To Stitch A New Clothe On A Old Coat?

Will You Purchase A New Clothe Just To Patch Up The Old One?

By Abraham Israel

Parables are simple stories or earthly imageries which have often been used by Jesus in order to explain the heavenly truth that cannot be otherwise understood with our finite mind.

"No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse." (Matt 9:16)

Finding the Context:
"18 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” 19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse." (Mark 2:18-21).

"Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old." (Luke 5:36)

The Key: Get The Context Right

The context of the parable should be the most important thing to consider before understanding the exact meaning or the intent for which Jesus Christ spoke it.

Context does mean the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood.

Here in the above parable, we see that the context is about the Old Testment way of life followed by disciples of John and Pharisees, compared to the newly introduced New Testament way of life in which Jesus Christ is symbolised as the bridegroom and his followers as the bride.

So fasting is a spiritual activity even during the Old Testament times, which was done not to please God through it, but was used as a activity to deny and humble oneself and look inwardly to see one's fault to correct it before the Lord and ask His mercy to live a altered God pleasing life for His Glory
(Isa 58:5-7).

We know from the Law of Moses, the greatest significance of note are the nature of the food prohibition in the Garden of Eden, the supernatural fasting of Moses on Sinai, the compelling command of personal affliction on the Day of Atonement, and the various dietary restrictions of the law associate fasting with living in or returning to the sustaining presence of God. The first sin that came in to this world was a violation of dietary restriction. So it became ingrained in the religious culture and in the faith culture of all time since the beginning, that if the food intake is restricted or fasting for a period of time is pursued, there is a cleansing of the soul from the impurities of self, flesh and Satanic influences upon it to break its bondage that bind us, and the removal of yoke that weigh us with the weight of sin will be removed from us by the power of God through his grace and mercies received supernaturally
(Jonah 3:5-10). When we starve the body, we make our soul cry for supernatural sustenance from heaven.

Until Jesus came to earth, people through the Old Testament only received the conviction of sin through the law
(Rom 7:7), but grace and truth came to all mankind only through Christ and Him alone (John 1:17). Even if there was a favor of God shown to people in the Old Testament for their deep and sincere repentance and a lifestyle of godliness, it was only for covering them from the sins they have done and not for the cleaning from sins and the assurance of faith like in the New Testament (Heb 9:13-14; Rom 4:7; Psa 32:1).

Jesus The Bridegroom And Church The Bride

There is an intimate relationship that has been described as something that is beyond our natural human understanding, that is, the intimate relationship between a bridegroom and a bride, a husband and a wife, a man and a woman. Again and again we see in the Gospels, Revelation, the Epistles and related verses in the Old Testament, this theme of the Church as a whole are identified as the bride betrothed to Christ the bridegroom
(John 3:29; Matt 25:1), even though individually the members are identified as the brethren of Christ (Heb 2:11). In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul compares the union of husband and wife to that of Christ and the church.

A woman who is getting married is called the bride.
Revelation 19:7 speaks about a literal marriage of the bridegroom who is Jesus the Christ with the bride the Church.

Then Jesus calls his disciples and apostles who followed him during his three and half years of his earthly ministry as friends because he shared all the intimate details that the Father showed Him to his friends the disciples
(John 15:15). These friends were trained by Jesus Himself to make them future pillars in raising the Church universal which He has envisioned as his bride at that point of time.

Further the the bride Church came in to existence only after the resurrection of Jesus, some of the very friends of Jesus were imparted with the Holy Spirit when Christ Jesus blew upon them, and they got impregnated with the worldwide vision of establishing the Church through teaching and preaching about the good news of the Kingdom of God
(John 20:22-23; Acts 1:1-3). Thus the Jerusalem church is founded as the first Christian church with about 120 Jews and Jewish Proselytes around A.D. 33 (Acts 1:15).

People were first called Christians only later in Antioch around A.D 43
(Acts 11:26).

After the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ to heaven, they returned to Jerusalem and were waiting in prayer for nearly ten days
(Acts 1:3; 2:1). When they the Church received the Holy Spirit as a gift and were all baptized in the Spirit, then the message of the gospel of the Kingdom began to be preached and teached in power in all the places starting from Jerusalem, which brought Satanic resistance to it, but the bride began to fast and pray to long for the power and demonstration of the supernatural hand of God which was given to them by God through His grace and mercy (Acts 1:14, 24; 2:42; 3:1; 4:23-31; 13:2-3). So in those days of hardship and persecution, the days had come to the disciples of Jesus who were now become the bride of Christ to seek His presence intensely through the act of fasting and praying together as one corporate body because already Jesus the bridegroom was taken away from them, and in searching for the living power and presence of the bridegroom, they as the bride were fasting and praying in those days for definite result and impact to fulfill the worldwide vision of extending the Church which was the desire of the bridegroom appointed by God to be fulfilled through life and living testimony of the bride.

So What Is The Fact Of The Matter?

Coming to a conclusion, we see that the main topic of discussion was about fasting and praying which was followed right from the Old Testament times to the time of John the Baptist and Pharisees, being thrust as something mandatory for spiritual noteworthiness upon Jesus and his disciples by the religious people of his times. But Jesus rejected their ideas of spirituality as a old garment, and the new vision of Church as the bride and Him as the bridegroom of it as the new piece of unshrunk cloth which was ready to be stitched by the power of God and His presence who is going to build it
(Matt 16:18; 18:20; John 14:13-14; 16:23-24).

Speaking of the contrast between the Old and the New Testament, Jesus clearly portrays the Old Testament righteousness of the law as something that is ready to be thrown out as it was shrinking in value and power
(Heb 8:13; Rom 2:26-27), as the new unshrunk clothe was the righteousness of Christ introduced for the bride who will wear it as a gown of beauty in the coming days through her good works and the gifts that Jesus will provide as the ornament over her (Eph 4:7-8; Rev 19:7-8).

In the Old Testament, all those who kept the law tried to keep it by the strength of the flesh to please God, but they were never able to actually please Him because law was only meant to convict humans of their sin and lead people towards the solution of having faith in the Messiah Jesus Christ
(Gal 3:19, 24-25). In the New Testament it is "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit," (Zech 4:6) the Lord has loudly declared to the whole world, that all might be justified by faith and not by works of any kind (Rom 5:1).

So the above parable regarding the Old garment is about the law, and the unshrunk new clothe was about the grace of Christ and His righteousness that we receive through Him freely. The law is something to work out through labor, grace is something to receive and enjoy without labor. As long as we continue to be with Jesus through the righteousness that comes by faith, by accepting what Jesus has done for us
(Rom 5:17-18), we will experience a supernatural rest that he gives and will continue to live supernaturally with the new unshrunk clothe of Christ's gift of righteousness beautifying us day in and day out as long as we continue in faith for the Glory of God (Matt 11:28). Either you live by the tradition of the law or you totally live by the Grace of Jesus, you cannot mix the two and see a positive change in your life. Instead, when law and grace are mixed, you only see a negative change towards deterioration of the quality of life you live on earth that is detrimental to the spiritual well being of a child of God.


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