Thoughts for the Day

Sunday, 6th March 2022: The double parable

Law New Covenant Luke 5 Old Covenant Parable Jesus Mission

Reading : Verses from Luke, Chapter 5


Jesus also told them a parable: ‘No one tears a piece from a new garment and sews it on an old garment; otherwise the new will be torn, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, “The old is good.”’

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


The double parable tells us something that we all know, ie don't patch an old garment with new cloth, because the latter will shrink when washed and cause a problem. The same goes for putting new wine into an old wineskin, for it will ferment and burst The new patch and new wine, are the New Covenant (the new agreement with God) and the Gospel of Jesus, and the old cloth and wineskin the Old Covenant and the Law of Moses.

Jesus gently points out the old system which required people to follow the Law of Moses hasn't worked. If the Hebrews had kept to the Shema (basically to love God and all people) it would have been ok, but the Pharasaic schools had defined the Law down to its tiniest action. Jesus came to offer freedom from this legalism. He came to call us to repentance and offer us forgiveness for our sin.

Today we too shouldn't says "the old is better" just because its comfortable. Jesus condemns all of us who have shut minds. We shouldn't reject new ideas, for the Holy Spirit continues to challenge and lead us into new truth. If Doctors stuck to the old ways where would we have been today? As one theologian wrote: 'Let us have a care that in thought and action we are not hidebound reactionaries when we ought, as Christians, to be gallant adventurers.' The question today is, "Are yoi a gallant adventurer?"


Lord Jesus,
You call us to move into the future
finding new ways of worshipping,
and new ways of praying.
You call us to take the best of the old
and move forward in mission,
taking Your love to all with whom
we come in contact.
Open our eyes so that we may
not be hindbound by old ways,
and lead us forward into new paths.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to find out more about the Shema:

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