Saturday, January 28, 2023

Handout - Matthew Chapter 9:16-26 - Cloth and Winskins, Girl and Woman Healed

 by Stan Feldsine (

Matthew 9:16-17 - Cloth and Wineskins

The Patch - So Jesus continues expounding on the issue of Pharisaism, moving on with a metaphor of a patch on a garment. When Jesus referred to "unshrunk cloth, He was speaking of a new piece of cloth that had not yet been washed and shrunk. If it is placed on a used garment which has already shrunk, the patch will shrink gathering up the surrounding material and distort it. The point Jesus is making here is that He did not come to join with the Pharisees to patch up the Rabbinic System of law and plug more holes. Jesus was offering something new (a work of the heart), and would not mix the old with the new.

Wineskins - Grape juice was put into new wineskins, this enabled the wineskin to expand to accommodate the fermentation of the wine. When a wineskin lost it's elasticity after several years, it no longer accommodated the expansion of the new wine, and ran the risk of splitting the old wineskin open, thus losing both, the wine and the wineskin. Therefore, old wine was put into old wineskins, and new wine was put into new wineskins. The point Jesus was making here is that Jesus had come to bring something new, and did not intend to put it into an old inflexible system

The Old Wine - Luke records a 4th analogy (Luk 5:39). In this analogy, the old wine would be well aged wine, smooth and savory. Old wine would represent the Mosaic law, while the new wine would represent the Rabbinic system. The teachings of the Mosaic Law, which were given by God at Mt. Sinai are better then the teachings of Rabbinic Law, which were given by Rabbis. Another way to say it is that ancient faith is like old wine, while Rabbinic Law is like the new wine. In the end, the religions leaders of Israel decided that they preferred the new wine of Rabbinic Judaism. Jesus though, was saying that the old and the new could not coexist.

Church Fences - The filthy five, the nasty nine, the dirty dozen. Churches in some cases have their own version of a sort of Rabbinic system. Churches can produce lists of laws, and sometimes require adherence to these lists for membership. Keeping lists like this can turn into a false sense of spirituality. There is no issue with individuals voluntarily keeping their own regulations beyond what the Bible teaches, but error is evident when the church assumes authority to enforce self imposed regulations on every one else.

Matthew 9:18-26 - Girl Restored to Life and Woman Healed

During the time that Jesus is teaching about the difference between the Mosaic Law and Rabbinic system, a man named Jairus, who was a Jewish synagogue leader came before Jesus in a position of worship. He was crying out to Jesus to heal his 12 year old daughter, who was dying. Jesus along with the disciples got up and went with Jairus to his house.

On the way, Jesus was crushed about from all sides, with many people touching him. A woman who needed healing from an issue of blood was among them and believed that Jesus could heal her. She believed if she could just touch the edge of His cloak, she would be healed. When she touched Jesus's cloak, she was healed instantly, and Jesus, in the midst of the crowd touching Him on all sides knew that something special had happened. He felt power go out from Himself and asked, while looking at the woman, who had touched Him.

Luke provides extra detail. (Luk 8:43-48). What kind of faith does it take for a woman to do this?

In the meantime, having spent enough time with the woman who was healed from the issue of blood, word came that Jairus's daughter had died. Jairus was counseled to leave Jesus alone. Having just witnessed the faith of the woman, Jesus tells Jairus to have faith as well, and accordingly she would be restored to life, and she was.

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