Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Daily Gospel Devotional: February 22

Matthew 9:14-17 / Mark 2:18-22 / Luke 5:33-39 …

Spill the wine…

When people from “outside the house” take extraordinary measures to get to Jesus (Luke 5:17-26), or when Jesus goes to the house of people with “extraordinary sin” (Luke 5:27-32), the religious crowd doesn’t like it. The people getting closest to Jesus, those who follow Him from house to house, they are questioned as to their actions and their attitudes. Pharisees old and new bow down, not at the appearance of Christ, but at the altar of cynicism.

Jesus is the vine (John 15:5), and God was branching out among the people in a new way. The fermenting of new wine builds up pressure which can burst old skins, like the effect of opening a corked wine bottle. Christianity was beginning to explode out of the boundaries of the Pharisees and beyond Israel. It cannot be contained, nor its practice limited to a set of commandments.

The spectre of legalism is the reality of the satanic ghost among us. Of course Jesus doesn’t want us to do sinful things, but He doesn’t want our personal convictions to stop His manifestation to people’s hearts, either (John 14:21). It is vital to our Christian calling to live as much as we can in the tension between the pulls of legalism and licentiousness (Romans 14:17 / Colossians 2:16-23 / 1 Peter 2:16). We can enjoy God’s good graces if we are good stewards, and that doesn’t require legalism, it requires a circumcision of the heart, and the destruction of idols.

Jesus isn’t giving us an excuse to justify any and every “new thing” with this passage. Jesus was speaking of trying to combine the works righteousness of the Jews with the salvation by grace alone that He offered. You can’t try and fit any man made definition you want into the metaphor of “new wine and new wineskins” and be biblically sound. What Jesus meant is that He did not come to perpetuate the old covenant of law but to bring people into a “new covenant” of grace (Hebrews 8:7-13). That is the old wine He was warning of.

But people don’t want to change from law to grace, they still want to justify themselves. The prejudiced person thinks the old wine of doing it yourself is better than the new wine of grace (Romans 10:3-4). He won’t even try the new; he is satisfied in his sanctimony.

But grace is God’s new wine, and Jesus would fill up and ferment the old wineskin (Matthew 5:17), and be poured out, so that He would pour us into the new wineskin of grace, that we may be filled with a new, Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

1 comment:

Even So... said...

In the course of one year we will read
• Every Verse
• Every Passage
• Every Gospel

We welcome your comments. We are not looking to be copying and pasting previous material...we are coming at this with a fresh look, each day, and going with whatever we see. We can send you a copy of the reading schedule (primesoul@hotmail.com). You can check www.voiceofvision.org for each day’s reading, or go to www.voiceofvision.blogspot.com to leave a comment. God bless you as you join in the walk with us...