The Parable of the Cloth and the Bottles

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14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

This is the Parable of the Cloth and the Bottles. Let’s find out what Jesus is trying to say here.
To begin, the reason behind this parable is that the disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answers them, in verse fifteen, saying,
Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
The children of the bridechamber are Christ’s disciples, and the bridegroom is Christ. It is to say then, “Can my disciples mourn while I am still here? But the day will come when I shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
Fasting, which is a method to grow closer to God, was unnecessary at the time, for the Son of God was there before the disciples; they have him to grow close to in person. However, Christ was soon to be removed from the presence of his disciples which is when they shall fast. Jesus explains why in the next couple verses, saying, “No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.” In addition to this, in the Gospel of Luke, it records that Jesus also said, “No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
Altogether, what do these three things mean in relation to Christ and fasting? If his disciples were to fast while he was on earth, it would be as if they were saying Christ was not enough, and something extra had to be done, which would undermine Christ since he was on earth with his disciples.
Considering all of what has been said, how does this apply to us today? Remember this passage to know that Christ is authentic, and his way is the only way. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is enough for us, and any attempt to sew new cloth on it would ruin it, and be an offense to the gospel.

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