36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and sews it on an old garment; otherwise the new will be torn, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.’”
Parables:Parabolic methodology is a powerful tool of communication, which Jesus adapted to share the Good news in an effective and informative manner. He wanted every section of the society to understand the greater truths in simple forms of expression, so he used comparison methods to make the truths tangible. Theology is not a lofty discourse within the academic and intellectual domains; rather it is the articulation of life in every living experience. One of the limitations in most of our Christian theological and spiritual deliberations is the lack of witnessing its connectivity with the real praxis of Christian calling. Sometimes the Church is understood only by its “walls” which is an absolutely negative paradigm of Jesus' view. The pedagogy of Christ fascinates us even today, because our model teacher still stands tall, as he did what he said and said what he did. So the word and deed of Jesus matched without any variation, and thus, we say he is the true embodiment of God’s Word, The LOVE.
The above text is the continuation of an argument that Jesus had with the Pharisees, since they rejected the modalities and the vibrant ideas of Christ, who differed from the unrealistic and old philosophical and pragmatic descriptions in the religious Jewish life. In simple words, when Jesus earned opposition for his new proposals and interpretations on law,life and culture, the love for the old lifestyle hindered the Pharisees from changing. For such an obscure mind, even the best communicator Jesus failed in the unbearable reality. The saga is so self-evident in many domains because the stereotypical mindset will resist any change and will not heed to the reality. Thus, many times the Christian practices become outdated, due to their lack of understanding and the attitude of being the so-called custodians of God. Jesus, the victor from the cross, assures his followers to carry on with this mission of telling the truth concerning Love, consistently even at the cost of death. However, in the face of arrogance and ignorance, the power of Jesus’ words empowered them to communicate the good. Christian Mission becomes valiant only when it challenges the odds and does not succumb or compromise to the establishment that dominates people and the real servants of God. Many times ministry has become an enterprise for self-sophistication and narrows the larger and longer trophy of grace from God.
Jesus is called the new Moses because he interpreted the Ten Commandments in his context, which belittled the then religious leaders because of their closed mentality and their deafness to the gospel of Love- Christ himself. His interpretation derailed them from their old run and they felt uncomfortable to change. “This is our way, and we will be like this”- was their mindset and that attitude of denial instigated telling this parable of the new wine in the old wineskins!
This parable helped the disciples to understand a new way of spirituality because Jesus' gospel communicated a holistic perspective that nailed the love in the furious hearts of the Pharisees. But they were blind to the voice of God because of their attachment to their own culture which was rooted in the past glory and legacy. They took pride in Abraham and Moses and denied Jesus who manifested the traits of the office of prophets, kings and priests.
Change is the only phenomenon that never changes because life is not static but dynamic. Jesus was able to clarify to them their cowardice in not accepting the change. The possibility of courage in God, having faith in God will dare you to any situation with a sense of openness to truth. Jesus also alarms them not to bend or stretch in their spiritual exercise to serve two masters because their loyalty will be a laughing stock. The point is very lucid and transparent, calling the disciples and the people of God to be loyal to God and to one’s self to bring transformation in an unjust society.
Since Jesus' leadership was so challenging he earned many sobriquet (nicknames) among the religious leaders, for example, “ Nazareth Jesus”,“Jesus the Galilean”, “Son of Mary” etc. However, they never regarded him to be worthy because of his roots and family. The Jews from Judea saw their own brothers from Galilee as insane, because of their proximity to temple and wealth. Temple became their private property and they monopolized the whole activity centered on the temple. When Jesus interacted and attempted to bring or suggested change they became so indignant over the ultimate teacher. However Christ understood them and his pedagogy never ceased to be a directive for life in truth. The call of the church being Christ's own sacramental body envisions us to take on the call to influence the closed world to be open for the new changes and depend on God for our journey.
May God bless these words.