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Posts Tagged ‘self-centeredness’


Matthew 9:14-17: Shrunken Cloth and New Wineskinswineskins

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Grown men sound like small children arguing over petty detail in today’s Noontime selection. We may want to consider Matthew’s warning to us in this quiet interlude between powerful miracles in Jesus’ story. Jesus reminds his followers – and he reminds us that while the cost of change is high, the reward of transformation is immense, even immeasurable.

When confronted with our pettiness, Jesus says: No one patches an old cloak with unshrunken cloth, for its fullness pulls away and the tear worsens. We want to take shortcuts, fly through our work in order to get to the leisure. Jesus reminds us that there is no point in short-changing God . . . we only shortchange ourselves.

When observing our shortsightedness, Jesus says: People do not put new wine in old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. We want to do things our way, pay no attention to the long haul and focus on the present. Jesus urges us to observe that our generosity and mercy are more important than keeping score or earning a living.

When reminded of our self-centeredness, Jesus says: Pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved. We fear not getting ahead, not being comfortable and not having influence. Jesus calls us to a life in which we put others first . . . so that God can tend to us as we tend to the marginalized in our world.

When we look for the secret to happiness or the formula for success, we do well to remember that God sees with God’s eyes and not our own. When we are tempted to make a quick patch in a relationship rather than working through the depth of the problem, let us remember the old cloak mended with unshrunken cloth. When we want continue to move through the world with our unimproved self, let us remember the old skins with new wine. And when we complain that no one suffers as much as we do, let us remember that new skins and worked over cloth preserve the old while nurturing the new.

When we use the scripture link above to reflect on varying versions of these verses, we begin to see the unshrunken cloth and old wineskins in our lives.


Image from: https://www.psephizo.com/biblical-studies/what-does-jesus-mean-by-new-wineskins/

For another perspective on this citation, enter the words Attitude and Perspective into the blog search bar and explore. 

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