21 To a new leather bag

Luke 5:36-39
Isaiah 40:27-31

T With a Bridegroom

 This is the continuance of the article of the calling Matthew. I touched it a little at the point (5:27 -35) of the last time. "Your disciples did not keep Tzom Gedaliah", Sopher added an objection to Jesus. Jesus said, "You cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you?" (34). This is declaration that He Himself is a bridegroom (the Messiah), but they could never become the members of the people who believed Jesus is the Messiah. And, for them who did not understand it, Jesus began to talk two (or one?) parables. It is from that place, this morning.

 "No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined." (5:36-38)

 Most of people who sat down on the seat of this meal performed in a house of Matthew would wear the jacket which had a lot of patches. And they all drunk and ate a lot of wine or meal on the dining table really happily. Jesus who was looking at that meal scenery preferable, began to teach the thing that was important not only for the people in the seat, but for Sopher, from "the garments" and "the wine". And it is also talking for us at modern.

 The Jew wore a garments made of the very big cloth. The poor people always wore only one piece as a garment, and it was often used as a substitute for the bedding. So that, it was old, and it must have been a poor thing with a lot of patch. Would not the garment of Jesus seem to have been similar, too? However, the Sopher who was the listener of this story, was different from poor people, and they had several new, excellent garments.


U Even His own life

 Therefore, Jesus would have asked a heart of the law which was written in the Old Testament, "If you ever take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets, for that is his only covering; it is his cloak for his body." (Exodus 22:26-27). Such people who "took the clothes of the neighbor as a pledge"; surely, they, the Sopher, would be counted as to be such one. And the heart of law, "you are to return it to him before the sun sets", was not minded at all in those days. However, they were eager in increasing Tzom Gedaliah that was once a year to 2 times a week.

 I don't know whether Jesus intended and said it, but, if we try to think about Sopher as "an old garment", and about the poor general people as "a new garment"; how is it? Perhaps there would be no Sopher who helped poor people at the cost of oneself. The people who were in other Sopher and the outskirts would have to resist it hard if the person who was going to do such a thing appeared. Because such a sense of values causes the social collapse, so they will not be able to live in peace. If we think so, it is just applying to the expression which was said, "otherwise he will both tear the new", don't you think so? And will poor people accept the person who thought that "I save poor people as a friend of myself"? The answer is "no". Because, it is only his temporary whim. So, I cannot but say that it is really appropriate that Jesus said that "and the piece from the new will not match the old". I remember that Jesus answered to the question of the young government official at Peraea. "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" "Go and sell your possessions and give to the poor." (Matthew 19:16-24) For both him and Sopher, it was a more difficult choice than "a camel to go through the eye of a needle". However, this parable will be the declaration, "Here is One who gives us even His own life". They Sopher had to recognize Jesus, as the One superior to law / the Messiah.


V To a new leather bag

 Another thing, it is a parable of wine and the leather bag. The wine was also not able to miss for the life of they Jew. Because the Israeli staple product was a grape, visitors who were invited in a Jewish wedding ceremony, drank wine for days; and it was their custom to do a blessing to the bridal couple. Therefore, wine is not enough, it would be very rude for the visitors invited. The event that Jesus changed water into wine at a wedding ceremony of Cana (John 2:1-11), it was such a Jewish custom. The manager who drank the wine said to a bridegroom "Every man serves the good wine that which is poorer; you have kept the good wine until now." (John 2:10). Cheap new wine was usual on the dining table of the common people. The new wine yet does not so have good fermentation taste on the way, and it follows an image as cheap one. However, Sopher would like an old and a higher-quality thing. An old thing is expensive, and such wine seems to be hard to be available.

 It was the times without a barrel or a bottle, for saving the wine. Leather bags were used generally. This picked up a bone and the internal organs of a sheep and the goat completely and it had only skin entirely, but it was a container for putting water or wine in; but now, the Arabic nomad seems to still use such a thing. However, while the leather bag is new, it has flexibility and durable, but, when it becomes old one, the flexibility disappears. Because the new wine was still unfinished and was fermenting, it is normal to put in a pail or a pot; but when people use a leather bag out of necessity, it seems to have limited to a new thing. When it is an old leather bag, it loses the vitality because it is defeated by vitality with a strong wine under fermentation, and tears. When Jesus compared this leather bag and wine, what kind of thing would He want to talk about?

 There is it in Verse 39, "And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, 'The old is good enough!'"; the old wine, perhaps it seems that it points at Tzom Gedaliah of law (Tzom Gedaliah of 2 times a week etc.) of their style it was born from their noisy, small interpretation law. The new wine will point at Jesus. So that, in the center of this parable, it seems to be said that the Gospel of Jesus has vitality which is able to tear an old leather bag. An old leather bag is them, Sopher; and surely, a new leather bag will be people believing Jesus. The Gospel ferments among such people and grows up into a better thing. Jesus who told about Himself by a parable of garment touched the faith of disciples in a parable of wine, and suggested that the Gospel did not conclude only by Jesus. And, it was consciousness of Luke, too; I imagine it so. The cross of Jesus is our salvation enough alone; but confession of our faith and the way of our believer's life overlap there. The Gospel is fermenting even now. Among Christians who were born at the many parts of the world in those days; and among modern of us, and it is so even now... It was a wish of Jesus. We wish and want to continue thinking about it, don't you?