Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Scandal Over Sacraments


Mark 2:18-22

Jesus And The Rebuke (18)

The Ritual

The Pharisees and the disciples of John the Baptist observed fasting as part of their lifestyles.

The Rebuke

The Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples were feasting at the house of Matthew.

It was probably a Monday or a Thursday, one of the Jewish fasting days.

This upset the Pharisees.

The disciples of John the Baptist were upset too.

Their leader had been arrested and was possibly dead at this time.

They were mourning the absence of John the Baptist and they were upset that the Lord Jesus Christ wasn’t upset too!

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Jesus And His Response (19-20)

An Explanation

The Lord Jesus Christ responded to their criticism by talking about wedding.

In Jesus’ day, as soon as the wedding was over, the newlyweds would host their families and friends in a week of celebration.

The Lord Jesus Christ told His critics that His presence among His people was like that of a bridegroom among his friends.

It was not a time for mourning, self-denial and sadness.

It was a time for celebration and gladness.

An Expectation

Having set the record straight, the Lord Jesus Christ told them that there would come a day when the Bridegroom would be taken away.

His disciples would then fast and be sorrowful in those days.

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Jesus And His Revelation (21-22)

To make His point crystal clear, Jesus used two vivid illustrations from everyday life.

The Illustration Of The Clothes

If a person took a torn and worn garment and sewed in a new piece of cloth as a patch, the first time it got wet and dried, the new piece of cloth would shrink.

When it did, it would pull apart the older, weaker garment and the hole would be worse than before.

Judaism, with its external rituals and rules could not contain Christianity with its emphasis on an internal relationship with God.

The Illustration Of The Containers

If new wine was poured into an old wineskin and began to ferment, the old wineskin couldn’t stretch to accommodate the gases put off by the fermenting wine and would burst.

The only fit container for new wine was a new wineskin.

Judaism, with its rituals and rules, could not contain the ministry and message of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to pour the new wine of His Spirit into hearts that were trying to please God by keeping the rules and traditions of men.

He came to take the old wineskin of our flesh and make us new by His power.

Only one who has been saved by grace and is born again is a fit container for the Spirit of God!

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We cannot mix the Lord Jesus Christ and our religion.

We cannot mix the Lord Jesus Christ and our old way of living.

To be saved, we have to come to the Lord Jesus Christ and completely forsake the rest.

When we do, we will discover that He has the power to transform us from what we are into what we could never have imagined.

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Maybe we have done all the rituals.

We have been baptized.

We have taken the Lord’s Supper.

We have joined the church.

We have done it all, but we have never bowed as a lost sinner, repented of our sins and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to come into our heart.

We have religion, but we don’t have the Lord Jesus Christ.

Change that today!

Come to the Lord Jesus Christ right now.

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