Luke 5:33 And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.”
Luke 5:34 “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
Luke 5:35 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”
Luke 5:36 “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.
Luke 5:37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.
Luke 5:38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.
Luke 5:39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”
Oh can’t you just picture it? After doing multiple ‘tastings’ with the caterers, and compromising with your future mother-in-law about the guest list, the wedding day comes and the party guests are coming in. What an incredibly happy day it is!
But the Chicken Cordon Bleu just sits.
The bride and groom don’t notice for a while. They are busy with pictures, laughing with the wedding party, and making fun of the chauffeur that brought everyone over from the church.
The groom’s parents are a little confused and are watching the guests. They welcomed everyone. They prayed. They explained how the serving line would work. The ushers were dismissing tables to come eat, but now we can’t even find those guys!
This is ridiculous and preposterous, but this is what Jesus is drawing a picture of. In His day, it wasn’t like our weddings. The newlyweds would honeymoon at home for a week and everyone would come and visit and BRING THEM ALL OF THEIR FOOD and it would be a week long party, at the guests’ expense, at the home of the newlyweds. It’s like a housewarming/bridal shower/honeymoon all at once.
Jesus is trying to get the Pharisees (and US) to see that religious life isn’t about how grumpy and restrictive we can be. He was accused by many of being a drunk and partying too hard. He cut through the heart of self-inflicted religion to bring the joy of God into their lives on the most holy days. He deliberately healed on the Sabbath, ate food without washing His hands, spoke and ate with unclean people, and withheld answers from the authorities which were all against their religious rules.
While everyone was striving so hard to be religious, Jesus was getting seconds of Chicken Cordon Bleu and enjoying the joy of the party. He was enjoying the Love of God instead of being afraid of God’s wrath.
That is the new life in Christ that He brought to them and that He brings to us today. There is no righteous deed that can make God love you, except to believe Him. And even then…He loved you before you did that!
And at it’s best, that’s not an act of righteousness, but an act of honesty and a confession.
“The chief end of mankind is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” – Westminster Shorter Catechism, 1648