about-bg about-bg

Watch/Listen

A Different Kind of New

• Scott Boren

To say that Jesus was a radical, “thinking-outside-of-the-box” person may well be the understatement of understatements! In living out his call as God’s Messiah, he went against a lot of the expectations and categories of his Jewish contemporaries, especially the religious leaders. It appeared that everywhere he went he was turning social convention on its head with his Holy Spirit-empowered deep wisdom and amazing love. Jesus’ incredibly loving, accepting behavior towards social outcasts and “sinners” made him the constant target of attention, scorn, and many questions from people.

Show Extended Summary Hide Extended Summary

To say that Jesus was a radical, “thinking-outside-of-the-box” person may well be the understatement of understatements! In living out his call as God’s Messiah, he went against a lot of the expectations and categories of his Jewish contemporaries, especially the religious leaders. It appeared that everywhere he went he was turning social convention on its head with his Holy Spirit-empowered deep wisdom and amazing love. Jesus’ incredibly loving, accepting behavior towards social outcasts and “sinners” made him the constant target of attention, scorn, and many questions from people.

In the account in Luke 5:33-39, we see Jesus being asked the question about why his disciples, unlike other Jewish disciples of religious leaders, did not fast. It did not seem that Jesus’ disciples were displaying the same religiously understood expression of messianic hope and discontent with the status quo. In typical radical form, Jesus effectively remarked that it made no sense for his disciples to fast when the very manifestation of their hopes was walking among them! He then went on to tell them a parable about tearing a piece from brand new clothing to mend old, worn-out clothes and placing new wines into older wineskins. The basic point was the same: Things that are truly new cannot fit into the same old rigid contexts without damage. To live in Jesus’ kingdom, one must be able to be radical just like Jesus, leaving behind old religious conceptions to embrace the vibrant relationality of God.

The message of Jesus given to the religious leaders is as powerful for today as it was back then. There are many times that we can get accustomed to our perspectives, our lifestyles, and our comfort. We can even become comfortable in things that are relationally unhealthy, believe it or not. When we welcome the Lord Jesus into our lives, we cannot expect life to go on as usual. He does not fit into our everyday American expectations and concepts any more than he did into the Jewish context in which he preached on Earth. The transformation that Jesus wants to work within us is deep and penetrating, which means that we have to be willing to get beyond two huge distractions:

  1. Love of the Old: This occurs when people are marked by being “creatures of habit” who identify so heavily with their past habits and patterns that they find it hard to move towards anything new, even within relationships.
  2. Love of the New and the Next: This occurs when people are so attracted by novelty and excitement that contentment and discipline are less and less possible over time. They identify heavily with being able to move from one thing to the next, sometimes with little consistency.

Some of the ways to navigate through the serious dangers of these two distractions include working with the Spirit of Jesus to recognize these distractions, cultivating the practice of silent waiting prayer before God, and taking time to actively remember that you are God’s beloved Child. As we do these activities, both individually and in community, we will surely find ourselves in the “different kind of new” that God’s kingdom is all about.

Hide Extended Summary

Topics: Identity in Christ, Kingdom of God, Transformation


Downloads & Resources

Audio File
Study guide (opens new window)
Slides


Focus Scripture:

  • They said to him, “John's disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking.”

    Jesus answered, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.”

    He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. If they do, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And people do not pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And none of you, after drinking old wine, wants the new, for you say, 'The old is better.' “

Subscribe to Podcast Buy Media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

 

testimonial-icon

"For so many years, I have been blessed by your music ministry. It takes me to a place that evokes so many emotions and feelings: gratefulness; honor; love; joy; hope; peace; strength. My heart feels connected to the heart of God over and over again as we worship together."

– WH Attender