Jul 23, 2020
This is the twin parable of the new wine and old wineskins and the new cloth patch on an old garment. Religious people tend to be critical of any deviation from the way things have traditionally been done. Despite this, Jesus encourages us to not focus on the external appearances or outward manifestations of spirituality, but instead focuses on the quality of the content. Ancient wisdom may take slightly new forms in each age, but nostalgically clinging to old forms without being flexible can lead to ruin both for the content and the form of a spiritual movement. Finally, healthy religious communities do well to let the younger generation grow and expand through the power of bold imagination, without the unnecessary restrictions that come when they are pressured merely to mimic their elders instead of taking ownership of their core ethical and spiritual values. Ultimately, this text is about Jesus warning folks that they are in danger of screwing up the kingdom if they fail to pay attention to the importance of context and timing. That is, failing to understand the unique situation of younger generations can lead to leaders unnecessarily driving them away from the source of freedom Jesus offers.