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A Jesus for People Today
Gabe Hagstrom

Click here to view the sermon.

We’re hopping back into Luke after the last couple weeks celebrating Easter. Duane took us to a conversation where Jesus is approached by some religious leaders who have concerns about Jesus’s wild party lifestyle.

As we approach the scene here in Luke, think through your own life.

What was your favorite party you attended? What made it great?

Let’s take a closer look at this conversation and read the passage:

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.” And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” He also told them a parable: “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. 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. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’” – Luke 5:33-39 33 

Jesus answer to the religious leaders is rich with insight into how different Jesus is, and who He is. Duane pointed out that What we see is how Jesus is always new, always good and can’t be compared or combined with anything else.

There were three points we looked at:

Good Parties
Good Style
Good Wine

I.  Good Parties

The religious leaders start off by comparing Jesus’s seemingly liberal lifestyle to His cousin John’s very serious and ascetic life. They were in the habit of fasting a couple times a week to show haw dissatisfied they were with the world and how holy they were. And here’s Jesus eating, drinking, every day like it’s a wedding party.

When you think of church, do you think of it more as a party, or as a practice? How do your neighbors, friends, and coworkers think of church? Why? What can change that view?

Parties are usually as great as the reason for the party. Jesus gives the leaders a reason in his response, that He’s here! Duane pointed out that “God coming in Jesus is a sign that God has heard the prayers of the people and now it’s time to thank Him, celebrate that and enjoy His presence.” They had been waiting centuries, millennia for this to happen and here it was!

Does your life reflect the joy of Jesus coming to us? Do you feel the freedom to express that joy? How can you express that joy to the people of San Diego?

II.  Good Style

After announcing that He is the reason for the party, and there’s never been a better reason, Jesus moves on to a story to reveal what the heart was behind the religious leaders' question. They wanted to mix their religion with Jesus, to make it more palatable to themselves.

Why do you think they wanted to mix the two?

What do people now often try to mix with Jesus? What do you try and mix with Jesus? Why?

Duane explained that this mixing of beliefs is called Syncretism. Jesus is new and He’s given us new clothes to wear. In spite of those new wonderful clothes, we often will try and sneak back into our worn smelly, yet comfy clothes. The new and the old can’t work together.

Are there some old clothes (practices and habits) you need to let go of? Why are you holding on to them? Who in your life can come alongside and point out when you need to let go of those clothes? 

III.  Good Wine

Jesus tries again with another story to enlighten his disciples and these religious leaders. He compares himself to new wine that needs an appropriately new wine skin to hold it. If you put new wine is the same old wine skin time after time, that skin would burst, unable to hold the life happening in the wine.

Duane pointed out that inside the skin it’s always wine, always the same gospel, in order to be effective, the skin that holds the wine must be flexible. So we as a church must be flexible as we deliver to the Gospel to different cultures, peoples, and groups.

What are some examples of things we do at our church because of San Diego culture that would hinder our delivery of the gospel in other places?

What are some other things we can do to help communicate the gospel to this time and people?

As we go about connecting our friends to the gospel and Jesus we must also begin connecting with them personally as a church.

What was it like for you when you started coming to the Resolved? Easy to make relationships? Hard? What can you do to make that connection for new people happen? 

Pray Together

Pray with your group that we’d realize the joy of Jesus coming in our lives every day. Accept His new clothes and be flexible wineskins, wise about our delivery of the gospel.