May 6, 2018

Things Will Be Different With Jesus

Preacher: Randy Smith Series: Luke Scripture: Luke 5:33–39

Things Will Be Different With Jesus

Luke 5:33–39
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Pastor Randy Smith


I was a sinner, less perfect than God. By conviction of the Holy Spirit I learned that my condition would incur the eternal condemnation of God if I did not submit to His grace. I acknowledged myself a sinner and threw myself on His mercy and grace, recognizing that He had brought salvation to earth through His Son Jesus Christ.

After God the Father put God the Son to death on the cross, He could proclaim grace and pardon to all who would submit to Him. I came to the cross, believed His promise about His Son, and God declared me righteous even while I was ungodly and gave me authority to become His child.

I ceased to be a child of wrath and became a child of God, justified from all things. Simultaneously, I was declared to be an heir of God, joint-heir with Jesus Christ. I received eternal life, and shall never perish. I was accepted in the Beloved; my body became the temple of the Holy Spirit; I was born of the Spirit into the family of God, baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, and sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption.

I have an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fades not away, reserved in Heaven for me. Although I know myself to be a sinner, I am not concerned about the penalty for sin, since the Lord Jesus Christ bore the penalty and declared me righteous.

The love of Christ becomes the constraining factor in my life, and I seek to glorify Him as Lord. I know Him as my Creator and so have peace of mind. I know Him as Savior and so have peace of conscience. In the measure that I enter into the second rest, I know Him as Lord and find the peace that passes all understanding.

Donald Barnhouse
Barnhouse’s Commentary on Romans

The world is divided into three categories. There are those that do not have this. There are those that do have this. And there are those that do not have this, but think they do.

The title of this sermon is, “Things will be Different with Jesus.”

Perhaps my greatest concern of the evangelical church is that there are unsaved individuals who falsely believe they are saved. Some of the most terrifying verses in all the Bible: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS’” (Mt. 7:21-23). Clearly Jesus teaches that there will be “many” professing Christians that on Judgment Day will be sent to hell. Terrifying!

Why does this happen? For starters, the church today has told professing Christians that the reality of their salvation is based on a past decision or church affiliation and not the personal examination of God producing fruit in their lives (“doing the will of the Father”). Add to that a culture that generally accepts Christianity with little persecution so professing faith in Christ is relatively easy. There are many benefits and often a very small price to pay.

Do you know that true salvation is God performing a miracle in your heart? Sure, you profess faith in Christ, but that is a gift of God and only a secondary result of His initial work in your life. True salvation is God through the Person of the Holy Spirit taking up permanent residence in your life. It’s about total transformation. It’s about recreation. It’s not just transferring your eternal address. It’s dying to self and devoting your entire allegiance to the lordship of Christ regardless of the cost.

My friends, we all struggle with sin, but here is something wrong when we repeatedly find more pleasure in sin than righteousness and obedience. We all need counseling, but there is something wrong when years counseling is producing no change. We all need biblical instruction, but there is something wrong when the many aspects of Christian living do not come naturally. We all have a long way to go, but there is something wrong when our character is not being progressively conformed to the image of Christ. It’s embarrassing. Moreover, it’s cause for grave concern.

God has impacted the world in the Person of Jesus Christ. Those who receive Him will clearly be different that those without Him. Yes, as my sermon title indicates, things will and should be different with Jesus. Remember last week? Levi the tax collector was saved and immediately he “followed Jesus,” which resulted in the radical obedience of changing his shady occupation and boldly sharing Jesus without shame to all of His sinful acquaintances. It was radical transformation from one life to another.

Today’s message before we break for the Lord’s Table will be along these lines. Things will be different with Jesus!

New Attitude (verses 33–35)

Let’s start with the first point, a “New Attitude” in verse 33.

“And they said to Him, ‘The disciples of John often fast and offer prayers, the disciples of the Pharisees also do the same, but Yours eat and drink.’”

The point of this critique against Jesus is that religious people should be fasting, going without food for a period of time for spiritual reasons. Everyone did it – the “disciples of the Pharisees” (which shouldn’t mean much to us), but also “the disciples of John [the Baptist] which does carry some weight. All practiced fasting, but according to verse 33, the disciples of Jesus “eat and drink.” Why are things different with Jesus?

Well, we need to examine the custom of the day. Fasting was indirectly commanded and practiced in the Old Testament. Even Jesus implies that His followers will practice fasting. Fasting for the right reasons is good and it is not the problem Jesus addresses. Jesus I believe is addressing the motive behind the fasting. Elsewhere Jesus condemned fasting when it was done with hypocrisy; here He condemns fasting because it is done without joy.

Back then there was, as there is still a small degree today, those who believe that true spiritually should always be solemn, sullen, gloomy, joyless, filled with remorse, draped in back as if every Sunday is a funeral service and of all things, never cracking a smile.

“Erma Bombeck wrote about sitting in church one Sunday when a small child turned around and began to smile at the people behind her. When her mother noticed, she told her daughter in a stage whisper, “Stop that grinning—you’re in church,” gave her a swat, and said, “That’s better!” Bombeck concluded that some people come to church looking like they have just read the will of their rich aunt only to learn that she left everything to her pet hamster!” (Hughes, Luke, p. 190).

Here is how Jesus responds. Verse 34, “And Jesus said to them, ‘You cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you?’”

You see, the way it worked back then is that newly married Jewish couples did not take a honeymoon. Instead they stayed home and threw a week-long open house of continual feasting and celebration where they were treated as royalties. This was so woven into the fabric of the culture that the religious leaders of the day exempted the newlyweds from their rabbinical laws, specifically fasting for fear that it would “lessen their joy.”

Jesus is playing off that in verse 34. With Jesus everything changes. He is the bridegroom of the church. God is walking among us in the flesh. This is not a time for mourning, but this is a time for maximum celebration! It was an insult if you came to the wedding feast and refused to eat! Fasting was fine in anticipation of the Messiah, but continual fasting in this regard with the bridegroom now here was a refusal to acknowledge that the Messiah had arrived.

Yes, verse 35, “But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” Yes, when Jesus is crucified there will be a time of mourning, but even then the sorrow of His followers will be turned to joy when He rises from the dead victorious on the third day.

So, yes, there is a spiritual place for fasting and further explanation of that is beyond the scope of this sermon. Yes, there is a place for brokenness over our sin, sobriety in our faith, self-control in our conduct. But the overarching theme that transcends these when walking with Jesus is one of joy!

Why? Before Christ we were complainers, having no hope in our trials that a sovereign God stood behind them all lovingly working things together for our good. Before Christ our joy was only superficial happiness that came and went based entirely upon our circumstances.

But now in Christ everything has changed. God is for us. He has forgiven all our sins. He hears our prayers. His love and purpose floods our life. We have perpetual peace. The Holy Spirit who dwells within us is forever producing the fruit of joy. No wonder we are commanded to, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). Martin Luther said, “A Christian should and must be a cheerful person. If he isn’t, the devil is tempting him.”

Jesus is associated with joy! Looking back, the prophecy of Christ said, “I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isa. 61:10). At the time of Christ, Jesus said one chapter earlier, “HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD” (Lk. 4:18-19). And looking forward toward heaven, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready… Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:7, 9).

New Covenant (verses 36–39)

From new attitudes we go to something else Jesus brings and that is, point number 2, a new covenant.

In verse 36, Jesus refers to this as a “parable.” A parable is teaching device that uses an earthly story one’s listeners were familiar with to teach a spiritual truth. In verses 36-38 there is one spiritual truth that is presented with two earthly stories.

“No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, 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 it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”

What is being said here? Well, we must first understand the earthly meaning of these two illustrations (a patch placed on clothing and wine poured into wineskins). Due to time constrains I’ll just focus on the wineskins. Wine was a common beverage back then primarily because wine was used to disinfect the polluted water. Wine was stored in a wineskin. A wineskin was often the skin of a goat. Within time the wineskins would stretch to their molecular capacity. New wine would expand in the process of fermenting. Hence when you took an old wineskin that had lost it elasticity and filled it with new wine that would expand a break would occur. Not only would the skins, but also the wine would be lost. You lose everything.

What does that mean spiritually?

If we stay in the immediate context it means the Pharisees cannot mix their man-made traditions with the teachings of Jesus. If we look at the broader context of the New Covenant it means the Old Covenant that frames Judaism is gone, it served its purpose and we are now completely under the New that was being ushered in by Christ. The New Covenant cannot be placed in the skins of the Old Covenant.

Some questions: Why was the temple destroyed preventing any more animal sacrifices? Why did Jesus’ disciples pluck heads of grain on the Sabbath (our next chapter in Luke)? Why was Peter told that some animals are no longer unclean? What does it mean that all of God’s promises are “yes” in Christ?

It means that God’s final Word was Jesus. It means that all are bondslaves of Jesus. It means that Jesus fulfilled the Old and has brought in the promise of the New. It means that man-made traditions have no place in the New. It means the Old Covenant has no place if it contradicts the New. It means that we can’t take the New Covenant and try to mix it with some of the Old. We can’t put the New Covenant in the old skin of the Old Covenant. Or using the other illustration, we don’t patch up the Old with a few things taken from the New. If we do so we destroy the one-time good purpose of the Old to show sin and usher in the Messiah and the New that is perfectly complete needing no additions and permitting no subtractions.

Verse 39, “And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’”

Jesus is not endorsing the Old over the New (that would be a contradiction to what He just said), but rather pointing out the difficulties many face when they are so accustomed to the Old that they refuse to accept anything that is new. This was not only the problem with the Pharisees, but also with spiritual Judaism of the day. God was working. Old Testament promises were being fulfilled, but they were too spiritually blind to see it and went so far to eventually find it best to crucify their Messiah.

Everything changes with Jesus. As promised, He will bring a sword of division even in one’s own family between those who accept Him and those who reject Him. He will bring radical heart transformation that is compelled by the Holy Spirit to result in radical obedience. He will bring a New Covenant that delivers new allegiance, new attitude and a new heart. We will be different. Things will be different with Jesus. We’ll hate and overcome sin. We’ll have a new set of priorities. We’ll truly love God. We’ll experience peace and joy. Yes, things will be different with Jesus!

other sermons in this series

Apr 25


The Final Charge

Preacher: Randy Smith Scripture: Luke 24:44–53 Series: Luke

Apr 18


The Primacy of Scripture To See and Serve Jesus

Preacher: Randy Smith Scripture: Luke 24:32–46 Series: Luke

Apr 11


Hope To Overcome Despair

Preacher: Randy Smith Scripture: Luke 24:13–32 Series: Luke