Matthew – God’s Purposes
We have covered the call of Matthew in the first part of
this study. We need now to understand the four pictures of His ministry that Jesus gave in this message. As the Physician, He came to bring spiritual health to sick
As the Bridegroom, He came to give spiritual joy. The Christian life is a feast, not a funeral. The illustration of the cloth reminds us that He came to bring spiritual wholeness; He did not come to “patch us up” and then let us fall apart.
The image of the wineskins teaches that He gives spiritual fullness. Jewish religion was a worn-out wineskin that would burst if filled with the new wine of the gospel. Jesus did not come to renovate Moses or even mix law and grace. He came with new life! Eternal Life!
Jesus Is Questioned About Fasting
14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?”
15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. 17 Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
QUESTIONS TO THOUGHT:
Why fast when the reason to fast is to seek Jesus who was right in front of them! We sometimes fast for wrong motivations. We fast to lose weight, to cleanse our bodies physically at times, or to fast from the busyness of life.
The only reason to fast, spiritually, is to seek God and His purposes for our lives. Fasting is stopping the routine and letting go of all that stands in the way of total focus and attention on God. Fasting is not about the food not consumed but about letting God overwhelm us with His love, mercy, and grace and then allow His Holy Spirit to consume US with His direction for our lives. Once we find Him, there is no need to fast but to celebrate!
Why do you fast?
Our old lives and all the thinking we had before rebirth into God’s Kingdom must go so that both hands with our hearts, minds and souls can grasp and cling to our new life and all that God now has to offer us. We are now traveling down a new road on a new journey with God to God.
We shed the old wineskins (old clothes of sin with worldly thinking) and clothe ourselves in new “skins” of love, joy, peace, graciousness, gentleness, kindness, patience which Christ helps us to wear with grace and beauty.
“Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.” Romans 13:14, NLT
“Put on your new nature, created to be like God–truly righteous and holy.” Ephesians 4:24, NLT
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!”
2 Corinthians 5:17
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
What “skins” are you wearing?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for teaching us daily, helping us to understand and live according to your word. Thank you for new life in Christ. Thank you, dear Jesus, for paying my debt of all my sin. Thank you, Holy Spirit for guiding me to Truth in what to wear, how to love, when to speak and when to be silent and listen. I don’t always have it right but you help me correct my ways. Thank you for all you have done are doing and will do in my life. Thank for continued transformation to be all you intended for me to to be.
In Jesus Name, Amen