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Jesus shared a parable with John’s disciples as He explained.  “No one takes a patch of cloth from a new coat  to cover a hole in an old coat ~ the new coat would be ruined and the old coat would look odd.”  He wanted to tell them that trying to combine the rules and traditions of the Pharisees with the true faith of John would only show how different they really were.  

Trying to combine the rules and traditions of the Pharisees with the teachings of Jesus was even worse.  Jesus compared it to putting new wine in old leather bags.  

In those days, wine was often stored in containers made of specially prepared watertight leather.  When new, these leather containers were soft and flexible, but they got dry and brittle with age.  The Jewish leaders with their traditions and rules had become like old brittle leather bags.  

Jesus said, “If new wine is stored in old leather bags, the bags burst and the wine is spilled.”  The Jewish leaders were stuck in a rut of ceremonies and traditions.  Their hearts were like brittle leather bags.  Satisfied with the religion they had, they could not accept real faith.  Faith motivated by a manner of love that purified the soul could not be a part of their dead beliefs.  The living truth of Jesus would burst the old traditions of the Pharisees.  

Jesus found His new leather bags among the uneducated fishermen, the tax collectors, and the Samaritans.  They were happy to hear the truth of God’s love and share that truth with the world around them.


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