Summary: This message is a challenge to let God use you to make a difference.
Call To Worship - Isaiah 58:1-11
Scripture Reading - 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
New Wine & Old Whine
1. Illustration: 1991 Chrysler New Yorker - Mark 5
It was my first real Chrysler and I loved it. I would still like to have it. It had all the bells and whistles a guy could want (told me when I was running out of gas, had a compass that made for exciting cross country trips with no map; just my sense of direction; up to the minute gas mileage reports) and a comfort ride that my wife found nice. It was closing in on 230,000 miles but I was attached to it. I kept replacing old parts with new ones but the patchwork was only temporary because new parts couldn’t keep the old from continued deterioration. Even using premium high octane gasoline would not save it. It was falling apart whenever I took it out but I loved it and didn’t want another car.
Then my Hmong friends intervened. They said that they wanted to replace the car that I had used up raising awareness and support on their behalf. I was reluctant because I didn’t want to give up my old interesting friend. I was comfortable with him even though it was obvious he couldn’t continue to serve me like he had used to do. They were insistent. They gave me a new car to replace this car that I loved when I made a trip to see my daughter. I couldn’t refuse. It would be an insult to do so. I needed a car and they loved me enough to sacrifice to give me this gift. It was time to trade the old for the new.
I still wonder sometimes about where that old car is and whether I could get it back. I was attached to it and in many ways still am. I know, in a small way, what it meant to the traditionalist who were comfortable in their old ways to be challenged to a new way of thinking and doing things in their quest for God.
2. Jesus came show them the difference between being religious and being spiritual.
Religion - 1. The beliefs, attitudes, emotions, behavior, etc. constituting man’s relationship with the powers and principles of then universe, especially with a deity or deities; also any particular system of such beliefs, attitudes, etc.. Latin religio < re - back + ligere - to bind >
Spiritual - 1. Of, pertaining to, having the nature of, or consisting of spirit as distinguished from matter.. 3. Of, or pertaining to God, or to the soul, as acted upon by the Holy Spirit, holy, pure.
3. The most reluctant people to accept new wine (spiritual attitudes) are those who are drunk on the old wine (religious traditions).
Religion is performance based and man-centered dedicated to good views: If I do the right religious exercises, God will accept me because of my works
Christianity is faith based and Christ-centered committed to the good news: If I become like Christ and develop His mindset, I will do the right things because I am His workmanship.
4. Jesus came to provide the world with a new way of thinking and the disciples of John and the traditionalists were disturbed in the way in which Jesus did things.
5. Jesus came to give life that was brand new and it disturbed those who thought the old was fine as it was, thank you very much.
Jesus’ life on earth began with the stretching of old wineskins with new wine and the old whiners didn’t pay much attention then.
The old came crashing headlong with the new when challenged their conventional thinking was brought to a festering head by three episodes culminated by a question on fasting. . Mark 2:18 "John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and they came and said to Him, "Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus was having many conflicts with the religious establishment - This section of Mark is the center of a series of five stories of conflict and controversy that began with the opening of chapter 2. They are arranged topically and in a parallel construction that serves to highlight the importance of the central story, not in any sort of historical order. Our text this morning comes at the end of three episodes of conflict in the life of Jesus
A - Healing a paralytic (2:1-12)
Here, Jesus forgave the paralytic’s sins and made a bunch of people mad. Only God can forgive sins.
Who do you think you are, Jesus? Poor Theology - Missed the point of the miracle - God’s credentials.