In weddings, there is a traditional rhyme that goes like this:
“Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something blue. And a six-pence in her shoe.” According to various wedding sources, this rhyme was in use during the late Victorian period and in 1894 was listed as a ‘Puritan Marriage Custom’.
“Something old” symbolizes continuity; “Something new” symbolizes hope;
“Something borrowed” symbolizes friendship; “Something blue” symbolizes faithfulness or fidelity (“marry in blue, lover be true”). And of course a “six-pence” was a silver coin to symbolize prosperity.
Today, we come to Jesus’ words that relate the Christian life to a wedding. God’s relationship with His people is often characterized in such language.
Isaiah 62:5 “as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you”
Hosea 2:19-20 “I [the Lord] will betroth you to me forever; yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion and I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord.”
Matt 25:1-13 (v.10) “the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast and the door was shut.”
Ephesians 5:25-32 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as also Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 to make her holy, cleansing her in the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and blameless. 28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own flesh, but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 since we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. 32 This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church.
As we look at the uniqueness of a marriage tradition we can gain appreciation for the relationship between God and His people.
EXAMINE Luke 5:33-39 Something Old, Something New
Something Old: Religion (Luke 5:30-33)
Jesus was constantly challenged by the Pharisees. The Pharisees were Jewish religious leaders who separated themselves from the evils of culture and commoners. They believed in the after-life and that individuals would be rewarded or punished based on their deeds. Therefore, the Pharisees were very exact in regards to the law of God; so much that they created human traditions and legalistic laws for people to follow (cf. Mat 15:2ff; 16:5ff; 23:1-36). In their eyes, sin was merely external. This view of course failed to realize sin was also internal, from the heart.
In this passage, the Pharisees questioned Jesus on the basis of being seen spending time with sinners and not fasting & praying enough. Jesus’ response was that his very mission was to come to the sick, calling sinners to repentance. In other Gospel’s, Jesus is found rebuking the Pharisees for such an external view of sin:
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves… Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:13-15, 27-28
Today, we must guard against such hypocritical, haughty, heartless religion. Religion is like tradition; there is nothing inherently wrong with it. However, when tradition becomes traditionalism and religion becomes rote legalism, then it becomes depressing, defeating and dead. The Pharisees expressed their spiritual prayers and fasting as means for acceptance with God, which was an endless cycle without hope. Jesus came to fulfill the religious laws that could never be accomplished by humanity. By faith in His righteous life we are made new and accepted by God’s grace.
Philippians 3:7-9 7 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ —the righteousness from God based on faith.
Something New: Full Redemption (Luke 5:34-35)
The Pharisees fasted with great gloom to display their religious nature. They never had full redemption from sin and they had to perform sacrifices and the hopes of prayers and fasting to bring them forgiveness with God. Jesus said in Matthew 6:16-18 “16 “Whenever you fast, don’t be sad-faced like the hypocrites. For they make their faces unattractive so their fasting is obvious to people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head, and wash your face, 18 so that you don’t show your fasting to people but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
In contrast, the Disciples of Jesus did not fast. Jesus said the reason was because He was with them. His presence was like that of a bridegroom with the wedding guests – a time of feasting. Jesus and the Disciples were seen “eating and drinking”; characteristics of celebration, life, joy and hope. Jesus came to redeem sinners and bring them joy (Luke 2:10). Sorrow would come at Jesus’ death but the renewal of fellowship would come through the hope and reality of Jesus’ resurrection.
Philippians 3:10-11 [My goal] is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.
The power of the gospel brings full redemption for which we can rejoice
Titus 2:14, 3:5-7 “Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works… he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Christian Hymn: Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe, Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow
Religious Hymn: Jesus paid 99%, Some to Him I still owe, Sin had left a crimson stain, I trust my works to go
Something Borrowed: Fasting (Luke 5:35)
Jesus told the Pharisees that the disciples will fast in later days as they await the return of the Bridegroom. Fasting is a spiritual discipline meant to abstain from something (typically food) in order to fuel spiritual thirst and hunger for God. Further, fasting identifies God-substitutes and idols of worship in your heart. It shows that we rely on a variety of substances: food, alcohol, drugs, entertainment, internet surfing, certain people, and whatever else, all at the expense of God. These God-substitutes hinder our hunger for God; they are like nibbling at junk food than satisfying our hunger on substantial protein of God and His Word.
Remember, in the opening chapters of Luke’s Gospel, Simeon and Anna? These were both individuals who prayed and fasted as they awaited the coming Messiah. Their hunger for God was relieved when Jesus entered the world. Luke is showing us that those who desire to know God in deeper ways will be those who fellowship through fasting.
ð What in your life is stealing time and robbing you of treasuring Jesus more?
- Cultivate seasons of fasting from these God-substitutes.
- Practice of Lent – is there something to cease?
John 4:32, 34 “I have food to eat that you do not about…My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”
Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Something Blue: Faithful Garments & Wineskins (Luke 5:36-39)
Jesus tells the Pharisees a parable involving garments and wineskins. He says that no one tears a patch from a new garment to place on an old one. Likewise, no one places new wine into old wineskins. To do either would be to destroy both!
Jesus is relating these concepts to the old and dead Pharisaic laws. The new has come, Jesus is here. God sent His Son, “born of a woman, born under the law, so that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4). The gospel does not diminish the OT or the Law. The old wine is good (5:39). But, since the new has come, the old has passed away. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (2Corinthians 5:17). God’s salvation is based on fidelity to His Son, not humanity’s fidelity to God and His law.
The new garments and new wine is giving to us by Jesus. We stand newly clothed and in enjoyment with God.
Revelation 16:15 “Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed.”
Are you dressed for the wedding? These are garments you do not have but the King must provide. Ultimately, it’s the garment of salvation by grace through faith. Will you dress?
1 Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables: 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent out his slaves to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn’t want to come. 4 Again, he sent out other slaves, and said, ‘Tell those who are invited: Look, I’ve prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet. ’ 5 “But they paid no attention and went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the others seized his slaves, treated them outrageously and killed them. 7 The king was enraged, so he sent out his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned down their city. 8 “Then he told his slaves, ‘The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore, go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet.’ 10 So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests. 11 But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
 Cf. Romans 7:12; 1Timothy 1:8