May your Thanksgiving Garments be joyful!
Key Bible Text
“…No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old.” Luke 5:36-38
The Relevance of a New Garment
Growing up, my siblings and I often received hand-me-downs; many were faded, all were filled with patches. While I wore these clothes to school and at play, I never wore them with the joy of a new garment. In today’s verses, Jesus proclaims that a patch, no matter how good the intentions, does not make a garment new.
Because of Jesus, we no longer have to wear patchwork garments; our garments are absolutely new! In the joy of this new garment, we grow and mature quite willingly, until we get to the hard part: resisting the renewal of mind and spirit that is required in the new garment. We’ve grown comfortable with the old patches; we want to keep them!
In verse 37, Jesus further demonstrates the risk of mixing the old with the new by using a wine analogy. The Jewish New Testament Commentary explains: “Old wineskins lose their strength and elasticity….they cannot withstand the pressure of new wine still fermenting.” As a Christian, if we resist the makeover that comes with the new garment, if we insist mixing the old with the new, we are living under the pressure of an impending explosion!
The first century Church struggled to integrate the new wine of Messianic faith with the old wine of Judaism. Daily, we struggle to weave the old patterns of our former nature with the new spirit of our salvation. The lesson of today’s parable: Jesus says, for either effort—it can’t be done! When we insist on mixing the two, Jesus said we lose any value to the old and dilute the value of the new.
Being renewed, not relying on the old, can sometimes feel like we are walking around naked. Daily, when my heart is most vulnerable, my old nature rises to the surface, tempting me to bring out the patches! However, when I remember that God is providing this renewal, I can move forward into His purpose with courage, knowing that I am fully covered by His Word (Isaiah 61:10). There is no bursting elasticity or lack of strength found in this new garment; no patches are necessary!
Do you continue to press the patches of your old garment onto the new one Jesus provided? Step out of the frayed garment of your old nature wearing the brilliance of His perfect “robe of righteousness.” “Delight in the Lord”—wear your new garment with joy!
Originally published in Life Line Devotional, November 22, 2006: written by blog author