May 3 - New Cloth

Friday, May 3, 2013

Matthew 9:16

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.”

Jesus said “No one” and apparently he didn't mean me, because until you learn all of the mechanics of how things work, you will try crazy things like this at least once.  It never occurred to my mother that I didn't realize I needed to pre-shrink fabric, so she didn't tell me … It made for some interesting learning episodes in my life, though.

Jesus is trying to tell his listeners that you can not force the old to accept the new.  Jesus hadn't come as the Messiah simply to affirm the Old Covenant, but he brought with him the New Covenant, one in which the rules had changed.  They weren't necessarily going to fall into line with the old paradigm.

He wanted his listeners to understand that while the original intent of the Law was in place, the methods by which it was enforced needed to transform.

We’re not much for change, it’s not something we accept easily. We don’t want to go to a concert and hear our favorite classic rock group play new tunes; we want to hear the classics we know and love.  We don’t want our favorite author to stop writing a series; we want it to continue forever. We don’t like it when Facebook changes its format, we’re comfortable with the way things always have worked. We don’t embrace new operating systems on our computers because we are so used to doing things one way.

Jesus brought change to first century Israel and he continues to bring change to our lives. He asks us to slough off our old lives and embrace a new life, to become different.  He doesn't ask us to do that one time; he asks us to continually transform into a person who loves without reservation and who is obedient to God’s will.

What old garment is Jesus asking you to set aside rather than patch up today?