Summary: This message is a part of my series Tell Me the Stroies of Jesus which is a study of the parables. In this message I deal with a heavy topic: CHANGE. It has been said that the only person who likes change is a wet baby. The church must change to keep u
“Keep the Change”
3 months ago we began this series on the parables titled Tell me the stories of Jesus. And one of the things I really enjoy about the stories Jesus told is that He alwasy knew how to get right to the point. Most of His stories were brief , easy to understand and his point has a way of getting right to the heart of what we need to hear. For instance Jesus could have given a one hour lecture on who our neighbors are and how to treat them but instead He simply told the story of the Good Samaritan. Why? Because we didn’t need a lecture, we needed a story that would soften our hearts and cause us to do something. These stories leave us with word pictures that cause us to want to do something.....
* Lost sheep that need to be found
* a house built on a poor foundation that needs to be corrected
* half built projects that need to be finished
These stories can do at least 4 things for us.
(1) They show us the Humanity of Jesus. We do not believe Jesus was ½ human and ½ divine. We believe He was 100% both. We don’t understand that. We accept it by faith. But we see clearly in the parables that Jesus was very acquainted with everyday life. He knew about farming, he talked about the harvest, He knew how to fish, wouldn’t you love to go fishing with Jesus? He talked about building houses, He went to weddings, He went to funerals....He talked about everyday things like salt, bread, light, wages and work.
(2) These stories can reveal the heart of God. You want to know how God feels about how we treat our neighbor, read the story of the Good Samaritan. You want to know how God feels when the lost come home to Him? Read the story of the prodigal son.
(3) These stories can move us to action. They can cause us to treat our neghbors better, they can cause us to do better planning. They can cause us to take us our cross and follow Jesus.
(4) These stories can cause us to see how the power of God can change any situation. In the text this morning Jesus is explaining a very important principle to the Pharisees, one that all of us need to understand. We need to hear it again today.
Here it is:
* change is often good.
* change can result in growth
* change is often necessary
If you read the gospels carefully you will notice that Jesus was constantly in trouble with the religious establishment. He would forgive someone and the religious crowd would become angry. Only God can forgive sin. Who do you think you are Jesus? He would hang out with sinners and that made the religious crowd mad as well. Why did Jesus do these things? He’s God. Didn’t He know it would cause trouble? Didn’t He know that everything He was doing was going against the teachings of the day? Against everything that the religious people believed in? Jesus was always making change. He was constantly stretching wineskins. And we see it in 3 short stories this morning.
First there is the story of a wedding. Jesus compares His ministry and teachings to a wedding celebration. In another passage John the Baptist describes himself as te best man and he describes Jesus as the groom. Then he describes his disciples as the friends of the groom. Now look again at the question that sparks all of this discussion. Verse 14. The OT in the book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time for everything
* a time to be born, a time to die
* a time to plant, a time to pull it up
* a time to cry, a time to laugh
* a time to tear something apart, a time to mend it
The thing that jumps out at me is that we can plant something or pull it up, we can cry or we can laugh, we can tear something apart or we can mend it but we cannot do both at the same time. It’s one or the other. Here Jesus was saying there is a time for fasting but it’s not when you’re at a wedding. There’s a time for fasting and grieving because the 2 are linked. But when God brings you to the wedding it’s time to celebrate.
2nd there is the story of the cloth. Verse 16.
I don’t think we do as much of this as people used to do but most of us know that when you sew a patch on an old piece of clothing, the problem is not really resolved. Because the patch will shrink; the clothing has already shrunk..I’m told that it can actually make things worse. We used to sing a song titled Give me that Old time Religion. And in the song it says it was good for the Hebrew children and it’s good enough for me. God had something more, something new for them. He had to deliver them from the bondage of Egypt and show them something new. The Red sea would part, Mt Sinai would explode with fire. The 10 commandments would be given and they would learn new lessons in the wilderness. It also says it was good for Paul and Silas and it’s good enough for me. The truth is that the old time religion was not good enough for Paul and Silas. For years Paul wanted to be good enough until one day he was walking on the road to Damascus and he met Jesus. He wanted to keep his traditions but the wineskin was about to burst. You see, you can’t have the old time religion. Your mother’s or your father’s faith will not do. It has to be your faith. If your faith has not grown in several years then the wineskin has dried and it’s brittle and it’s not going to hold the new things Jesus wants to do in your life. You can’t stay where you are. This church can’t stay where we are. Our faith must be current; it must be fresh. God tells us in Isaiah 43:19 For I am about to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness for my people to come home. I will create rivers for them in the desert!