Is John In The Old Testament Or The New Testament The Parable of the Groom’s Attendants – Matthew 9:14-15

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The Parable of the Groom’s Attendants – Matthew 9:14-15

Jesus was asked why he did not fast like the disciples of John and the Pharisees and this is about Jesus’ answer.

Then John’s disciples approached him and said: “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, while your disciples do not fast?” Jesus said to them: Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them and they will fast; no one will wear an unworn piece of cloth over an old garment, because the piece comes away from the garment and tears, nor do they put wine into old wineskins, otherwise the wineskins will break, the wine will spill out, and the wineskins will be ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

The Pharisees and John were doing things according to the Old Testament law. They were operating under the Old Covenant law, and part of that law was to fast; it is a religious duty as a way of being faithful to God and showing that you are submissive to God and obedient. You want to follow Him and fast so that religious practices will have more effect on your prayers and show that you are more pious.

Jesus answered them and said imagine being at the wedding supper with the bridegroom and the groom’s friends fasting? The bridegroom does not call his servants to fast when it is time to rejoice. Jesus was trying to say that if you understood the other parable about how the king makes a banquet at a wedding for his son. He was trying to tell the listeners that he was the son who would marry the bride, and all the disciples, when they would be his disciples, how they would be a bride for him. But the problem with people was that Jesus spoke in parables and not everything he said was understood. Even today, parables remain a mystery to many and that is one reason for this book.

Let people today think that fasting is a way to put God’s arm behind your back, how to put pressure on God if you are not getting the answer to your prayers and if you really want your prayers to be answered. You should fast for 3 days or 20 days and make sure that God answers your prayer. This is also a religious approach to fasting, and it is how the people of the Old Testament did it.

The book of James says that good and perfect gifts come from the Father of lights, and if you want something good and perfect and something is good for you, the Father will not deny you. Doing some kind of fasting will not move the Father’s hand in the modern day for you. Similarly, in the Old Testament, fasting had no effect. They were fasting as a religious form of self-righteousness and Jesus was having none of it. He knew who he was. He was the Son of God and did not need to do anything to impress the Father; in fact, from sun up to sun down, everything Jesus said and did was the Father’s will. He walked completely in the perfect will of his Father. He did not need to fast to impress his father; he had never seen Him, he had never done a wrong thing. So fasting was something that was not necessary.

Jesus did not need to impress his Father even before he began these public ministries when he came out of his baptism by John You will remember, the heavens were parted and the dove descended as the holy spirit; she came down and leaned on his shoulder. God said from heaven: “Behold my Son in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus had not even done any public service and the Father was satisfied.

I think the application of this in business today is that we don’t have to do anything special to impress God. God is already impressed; He was impressed by the blood of Jesus Christ. The cross of Jesus Christ, his Son, and the covenant blood shed on that cross made a way for us. God is fully impressed that the law and the punishment we deserve was nailed to Jesus Christ. All our sins were nailed to that cross.

John’s disciples were trying to make Jesus conform to the Old Covenant and Jesus was having none of it. He was expressing the New Covenant. Now, it is hard to realize that I am only eight weeks into my understanding in September 2010 as I dictate this video, but the New Covenant was not actually established until the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many of the sayings of Jesus Christ, many of the commandments of Jesus Christ in red letters in your Bible are actually more difficult to fulfill and similar to the God of the Old Testament.

Jesus was saying that the covenant that he was bringing, the new wine that was being poured out was his blood, the new wine that was being poured out, the new wine of grace, cannot be matched with the old wineskins. It just doesn’t fit. The old casks were old and had to be used for old wine, and new wine should not be put into them, or they would burst.

If you try to live under the New Covenant, but still bound by the 10 Commandments and laws, you will get into big trouble. You don’t even have to try and obey the 10 commandments to tie yourself to the Old Law and try to put new wine into old wineskins. Laws can be as simple as:

you must go to church;

you cannot forsake the meeting of the brethren;

you must pray every day for half an hour;

you should read your bible every day.

You don’t need to follow the Old Covenant law to be law-abiding and self-righteous. If you try to mix your form of law with grace, it just doesn’t work because the New Covenant and the Old Covenant were not built to mix together. It’s like putting a new piece of cloth on an old pair of jeans; it will tear the old pair of jeans. This is what Jesus said about the unturned cloth.

Mixing the New Covenant into the Old Covenant is just a recipe for disaster. I was living in that condemnation, guilt and shame, and the burden I had on my shoulders was so heavy that I felt so depressed. I thought I was going to hell because I was stuck in some form of habitual sin.

It wasn’t until I sat under a teaching that said that the law has passed away and that we will no longer be under the judgment of the law as New Covenant believers, that I was able to be freed from my habitual sin. It was only when I was convinced that I was forgiven for my past, present and future sins that I was able to escape the shame and punishment that the law was bringing upon me.

Are you like me? Are you mixing the law with grace a little? Are you someone like John who says that the way of Jesus is too easy? Is grace too easy for you? Should you do your penance? Is there some form of sacrifice you must make to be worthy of God? Do you fast some of your TV time? Do you fast some of your meals? Do you fast part of the time in front of your children and family to do things for God or are you busy running around serving God and doing things self righteously? Are you one of John’s apostles?

Trying to remain forgiven by Jesus and free while believing you must fulfill his impossible demands of the law is like mixing bitter drink with sweet drink. If you mix bitter drink with sweet, everything will taste bitter. The law was given and meant to be bitter. The law was meant to show us that we need Jesus and then when we accepted Jesus we were meant to obey the instructions of the Holy Spirit and not the law.

If you try and enforce the law, it’s like putting bitter wine into old casks and they will burst. Jesus is saying that you cannot mix the Old Covenant with the New. If you try and do that, you will always feel the weight of sin in your life.

Are you like a Pharisee or are you one of Jesus’ disciples perfectly happy to spend time with Jesus and perfectly happy to be forgiven and righteous and loved and holy and blessed and sitting in heavenly places doing nothing? Can you afford to go to Heaven because you did nothing or do you have to earn your way?

I think this lesson can be shared many times and not be understood. I lived in the personal torture, a personal horror, of legalism for many years, and I certainly don’t want any of you to experience that. I encouraged you to take a look at all the videos on the parables that I am teaching here because I believe that God, through the Holy Spirit and through Jesus, has given me a very divine knowledge of them.

God bless!

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