Matthew 9:11-17; Mark 2:16-22; Luke 5:30-39

And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. (Luke 5:36-37)


Why didn’t Jesus act according to the Old Testament religious traditions and expectations? (Matt. 9:14; Mk. 2:18.) Jesus answered that question in these two parables. He said He had come to do a new thing that would not mix with the familiar Old Covenant ways. (Isa. 43:18,19; Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:7-13.)

A new cloth sown on an old garment would shrink the first time it was washed. Then it would tear away from the old garment that was already shrunk, making the hole worse. This illustrated that Jesus did not come to patch up the Old Covenant but to replace it with an entirely new one. (Heb. 7:18,19.)

New, unfermented wine had to be put into new wineskins to allow for the expansion of gases within the skin as the wine fermented. An old wineskin would simply burst from the gases produced by the new wine. The Old Testament laws could never stretch enough to accommodate the New Testament truths of mercy and grace. (Heb. 10:1-10.) Jesus completely set us free from the judgment of the Old Testament laws. (Rom. 6:14; 7:1-4; 8:2; 10:3,4; Gal. 3:12-14,23,24; 5:4; Phil. 3:9.) He replaced living by the Law outwardly with living by the grace of God within us.

Today do not make the same mistake these religious scribes and Pharisees (Luke 5:30) did by trusting in your own efforts to produce your right standing with God. Jesus did not come to accept your sacrificial acts! He came to sacrifice Himself so that you could be free of sin and have a new life of grace in Him.