As I am coming to the close of a five week journey into learning more about fasting, I am feeling so blessed at how God continues to be fresh every day. I have been on a journey with God all my life, and after 40 years I feel like I have only scratched the surface in my understanding of who God is. This study has truly been eye-opening to me not only about fasts, but also about some of the things that are important to God. I would like to look at Luke 5:33-37 for the last day of this adventure.
Jesus is asked why His disciples never fasted but the Pharisee's and John the Baptist's disciples fasted often. Jesus' response was very interesting and I am still trying to wrap my mind around it. His immediate reaction makes sense to me when He talked about the fact that a bridegroom would never make his friends fast while they were together. Jesus was pointing out that He was only here for a short time and this was not the time for fasting. The disciples would have plenty of time to fast when He was gone.
The next section confused me a little because I wasn't sure how this came from the question of fasting. As I did a little digging I learned that wineskins were made of goatskin. The goatskin, when new, was pliable and able to stretch; however, the older the skin was, the more brittle it became. New wine expands as it ages, so it would not work to put new wine in an old skin because it would burst. When we become so set in our ways, we become like that rigid wineskin. The message of Christ, being fresh and new, will not fit in the old wineskin. We need to be careful not to become so set in our ways and traditions that we forget who Christ is in our lives. We need to keep our hearts pliable so that His ways will always fit. Since we don't have Jesus with us in human form now, fasting is a wonderful way to keep our hearts pliable. If we ask God for deeper understanding and we spend the time with Him (which fasting has a way of pointing out the time we need with God), we will stay fresh in our faith.
Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." God can renew that steadfast spirit in our hearts. Our hearts can be like new wineskins no matter how old we are. Praise God!
Thank you for joining me on this journey and next week I plan to look at some of Christ's last days before His death and resurrection.
Is your heart like new wineskin?