Wineskins

Unexpected Challenge

In Matthew Chapter 9, Jesus Christ is confronted with a curious criticism. The disciples of John were bothered by the fact that Jesus’ own disciples were not engaging in fasting (Mat. 9:14-17). This confrontation teaches many things concerning the purpose of Jesus’ ministry, His attitude toward the traditions of the Pharisees, and His knowledge of His coming death and resurrection. Each of these topics is important, but we will instead focus upon the curious illustration Jesus uses to answer this challenge. Jesus uses the example of wineskins to describe the great change that was coming upon the world at the fulfillment of His ministry on earth and beyond.

Sacrificing Our Own Children

A Very Wicked Practice

In the 7th Century B.C., the people of the Kingdom of Judah committed deeds of abomination so despicable in the sight of God that He decided to destroy the nation a few short years after. Man had been well practiced at committing sin, and both Israel and Judah were no exception. However, none of the idolatry, injustice, immorality, or other behavior had matched what was encouraged by King Manasseh. He encouraged the people to engage in child sacrifice, causing his very own son to “pass through the fire” (2 Kings 21:6, NASU).

The More Things Change...

An Old Saying

There is an old saying that reads: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Another old saying is meant as a warning about the repetition of man and reads: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Both of these sayings are very true, but not necessarily for the reasons that the original coiners intended.

What a Difference a Day Makes

A Single Day

The difference between an old and new year on the calendar is the difference of one second – one day leading into the next. In history, the changing of one day into another is all that has proven necessary many times in order to bring about great change. Entire empires can rise and fall in the course of one day, such as the fall of Babylon in a single night as described in Daniel Chapter 5.