This week we will be looking into the Parable of the Garment.
No one sews a patch of unshrunk [new] cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Matthew 9:16
Jesus is talking to the Pharisees about why his disciples do not fast the same way that the Pharisees do. In other words, they are asking Jesus about why his men aren’t following the Judaic Law. Jesus’ response is priceless. If it would have been me, I would have not been as poignant or as nice. The Pharisees liked to put on a show of following every law to the letter, even though they had no real relationship with God.
The fakers, the Pharisees, were trying to trip Christ up so they could arrest him. However, his Deity-witty comeback made them think, rather than speak. I can only wonder if Jesus was thinking “For the Love of Dad! Shut up and go away!” Thank goodness it’s What Would Jesus Do, not What Would Rebecca Do.
Now that Jesus has made the Pharisees use their minds for once, let’s get to the point of what he was saying.
Jesus was plainly stating you can’t attach the new to the old and expect good results. How does this apply to us today? Glad you asked!
When a person decides to quit smoking he or she is making a conscious decision to change his or her external life to match it. However, let’s pretend that this non-smoker continues to hang around where temptations might arise, eventually he or she would fall back into routine patterns: the old self.
Jesus was stating two important facts about God’s Kingdom:
- His ministry was a new Covenant, not like the “old cloth/old ways” of Judaism.
- A Christian cannot pretend to be Christian when he or she is not walking the talk.
Ouch. Did you hear that? Jesus saw right through the Pharisees and Christ sees right through our falsehoods too.
No matter what it takes, strive to put away your “old cloth” and clothe yourself with the new. No one ever said it would be easy, but it is worth it. Look at areas in your life that need Christ. Most people are good in some areas, like going to church, but may lack in others like daily prayer and watching their tongue (that’s mine). We’re not perfect. Jesus knows that. However, don’t base your relationship with God on a lie. Don’t pretend to be a Christian and then leave church and go get caught up in poor habits that do not reflect a Christian lifestyle. Not only will God see right through you, but you’ll come off as a fake to everyone else around you too.
Are you behaving like a faker, a Pharisee? Have you clothed yourself with the New Covenant, the Blood of Jesus?