Summary: A look at hypocrisy.
In what way was Christianity new and improved from Judaism? Why is it inappropriate for Christians to boring and depressed? Why do so many people have the idea that Christians are narrow minded and uncompassionate people? How can we balance celebration in Jesus with a serious commitment? Well in our text we run into the Pharisees, who are once again all bent out of shape at Jesus. They are not taking kindly to Jesus hanging out with Levi and his friends. You know what they say, “birds of a feather, flock together.” This part proves that there is no way that Jesus is the messiah. The messiah would never run around with this type of crowd. Talk about some major party poopers. So the Pharisees set a plan into motion to undermine Jesus’ support base, by attacking the disciples. Granted the disciples are probably a bit uneasy about Jesus’ new friends. I mean the want a messiah not a party animal. Jesus and His friends are not acting spiritual enough. So with the Pharisees help, John the Baptist’s people begin to attack the Jesus people. When the disciples are out of answers, Jesus comes to the rescue. Let’s see how Jesus answers these very tough questions that many struggle with, and how not to become a religious party pooper.
I. A confrontation that opens a few eyes.
A. The Pharisees are all bent out of shape over the crowd Jesus is choosing to hang out with.
1. Jesus was at a party that was held at a tax collectors house.
2. Levi (Matthew) had invited some of his old friends to the party to meet Jesus.
3. Any good religious people would not let themselves be seen with such people.
4. Besides Jesus would contract the uncleanness of these people by eating with them.
5. There’s no way this is the Messiah, our Messiah would not socialize with such lowlives.
6. So the Pharisees begin to plan an attack on Jesus’ support base.
B. The Pharisees enlist the help of John the Baptists disciples to mount evidence and attack Jesus.
1. These are two groups that don’t usually get along very well, but the Pharisees discover some common ground.
2. Why do suppose that we Pharisees fast, you Baptists fast, but the Jesus people don’t.
3. Fasting was seen as an outward sign of one’s religious devotion.
4. Both Groups agree this seems to be very inappropriate behavior.
5. Jesus is not spiritual enough to be the Messiah.
6. Jesus disciples are being accused of not displaying a behavior that adheres to proper religious protocol.
7. The Pharisees must have shrunk when they saw their plan crumble as Jesus comes to the rescue of His disciples.
II. Jesus replaces the old law and ushers in a new way of living.
A. Jesus responds to the attacks of the Pharisees, by using very simple logic.
1. Basically it would be insulting and inappropriate for guests to feast while the bridegroom is present.
2. It would be as ignorant as putting an unshrunk patch on some old jeans, once you washed then they both would be ruined.
3. As stupid as putting new wine in to an old brittle wine skin, as the wine ferments the gases would cause it to burst and both would be lost.
4. Jesus is here and it is a time for celebration.
5. His mission would cause a radical break from the normal religious practice of the day.
6. Because of the change He brought the Pharisees could accept Jesus as the Messiah.
B. The Gospel cannot be combined with the legalism of Judaism.
1. The Gospel is fresh and new and cannot be combined with the old ways.
2. The legalists among us try to convince us that those that wear smiles on their faces are some how spiritually shallow.
3. The Gospel demands change legalism tries to keep things the way they have always been.
4. Jesus did not come to just add more routines to the ones already practiced, He came to usher in something totally new and different.
5. Jesus brought something that was not merely an extension of the old but something that was totally different and new.
6. The Pharisees legalism would not allow them to accept any change in the way things were being done.
III. Our response to change reveals many things about our faith, our commitment and our priorities.
A. People tend to have extreme difficulty in accepting something that is new.
1. Let’s face it, we prefer the things the way we are used to them being.
2. Change is a nasty word to many of us because it threatens the traditions that we hold so dear.
3. Change can not be separated from the Gospel message, Jesus truly changes life.