Jan
30

Patched by Randy Rowley 1/30/18 ©

By

As five friends, my son, Ryan, and I were preparing to leave my house for an early January FCS coastal blast and cast (duck hunt and bay fishing trip) to Port O’Connor, Daryl Shipper asked to borrow my spare neoprene waders.  Daryl had brought vinal waders, but he knew the water would probably be cold due to recent cold fronts.  I said, “sure,” and we threw them in my truck with the rest of our stuff.  I wasn’t concerned about them because they hadn’t leaked the last time I used them about a year before this trip.

That afternoon we set out of decoys near the old coast guard station near Saluria Bayou in Espiritu Santo Bay.  Unfortunately, Daryl learned my waders were leaking after getting in the water.  Ducks started to fly soon after we set up, and we had a limit of redheads (ducks), plus one ring-neck, by 4:50 PM, a good hour before sunset.

That night I pulled some old patches off the leaking waders and replaced them with Tear-Aid Type A patches, which proved difficult, as the waders were still wet and the patches didn’t want to stay stuck.  Daryl tried them again the next day, but they leaked worse.

After returning home, I replaced eight iffy-looking patches.  I then went on a walk-in duck hunt with Ken Miller on Lake Somerville in the day hunt area, wearing my patched waders.  We had to walk through thick woods for the last 50 yards or so, including several thorny vines, branches, and trees.  When we entered the water to put out our decoys, I discovered my waders still leaked, but it wasn’t because of my patch job.  Instead, it was due to two dime-sized new holes added during our walk through the thick woods.

I patched the new holes, and four days later, when I went on a walk-in duck hunt with my son, Ryan, on Lake Belton, I discovered I still had work to do to the waders above my right knee.  After returning home, I replaced three more patches.

In the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, there are recounts of the disciples of John the Baptist coming to Jesus and asking him a question about fasting (a spiritual discipline of voluntarily reducing or eliminating food intake for a specific amount of time and purpose).  Matthew 9:14 says, “One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why don’t your disciples fast like we do and the Pharisees do?”

The Pharisees (a Jewish sect that strictly observed the written and traditional law) usually fasted twice a week.  They also customarily fasted during the national days of fasting and fasted when in mourning.  The disciples of John the Baptist were probably more than a tad bit annoyed when they came to Jesus and asked him why he didn’t make his disciples fast.  Jesus replied with two illustrations.

Luke 5:34-39 says, “Jesus answered, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them?  But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.”  He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one.  Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old.  And no one pours new wine into old wineskins.  Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.  No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.  And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”

Jesus didn’t say fasting was wrong.  Nor did he condemn the Pharisees for their additional fasts (God only required fasting, in conjunction with confession of sin, on the Day of Atonement – see Leviticus 16:29-34).  However, he would have opposed the Pharisees if they’d been teaching that God required all Jews to participate in their additional fasts.

Jesus responded with a question and statement that conveyed the Pharisees and disciples of John the Baptist were fasting at the wrong time.  Comparing himself to a bridegroom, Jesus reminded them no one of that day ever fasted during a wedding celebration while the bridegroom was still present.  He also said his disciples would fast after he was taken from them (executed).  Jesus’s comparing himself to a bridegroom was an absolute claim to deity, for the bridegroom of ancient Israel was God himself.  Isaiah 62:5 says, “As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”  “Builder” refers to God the Creator.

Jesus’s parable (a simple story providing a more profound lesson or teaching) focused on a well-known fact of that day – no experienced seamstress would patch an old garment with a piece of new cloth, as when the new patch inevitably became wet, it would shrink as it dried and cause the hole or tear to become worse than it was before patching it.  What Jesus meant is his new teachings didn’t mix well with the Pharisees’ old rites (religious acts), such as regular fasting, which they regarded as a mark of general piety and repentance.  Attaching Jesus’s new teachings to the Pharisees’ old rites would result at least in confusion from distorting the truth.

Our old garments, which are our old sinful and self-consumed lives, cannot be mended – we must replace them.  When we come to Jesus, we are new creations.  2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  When we believe in Jesus and ask him to be our Lord and Savior, we replace our old sinful lifestyles with Jesus’s new way of living.  We can’t combine the two – one must rule the other, and our sinful nature will reign if we don’t surrender to Jesus to be our Lord.

We can’t hold on to Jesus while also clinging to our old sinful lives.  Jesus said in Matthew 6:24a (NLT), “‘No one can serve two masters.  For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.’”

Jesus’s teachings are also incompatible with our old lives.  Romans 6:5-6 (NLT) says, “Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.  We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives.  We are no longer slaves to sin.”

Trying to attach Jesus’s new life with the Pharisees’ old system of sacrificing animals, performing works, and completing rites (such as fasting) to become righteous is useless.  To attempt to meld Jesus’s new teachings into the ways of Judaism or any other of the world’s religions confuses those who try it.

As does attempting to meld Jesus’s teachings with the world’s teachings directly influenced by Satan.  1 John 2:15 (NASB) says, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  Jesus said in John 14:6, “‘I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.’”  Jesus’s new way must completely replace our old worldly ways for us to walk in the new life with him.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:14, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  This is what he meant by Luke 5:39, “And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.”  Tragically, many people enjoy their sinful lifestyles too much to put them aside and repent and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

One day my old, patch-riddled waders will become irreparable, and I’ll throw them away.  But for now, I’ll keep patching them.  Don’t let that be the case with Jesus’s teachings.  We don’t need to waste our time trying to patch up our old lives with his teachings – instead, we must put aside our old lives and surrender to him to start new lives with him.  And trying to blend our old lives with his new life will only confuse us and won’t result in the salvation we seek.

Some of the patches on Randy’s waders

Categories : Devotionals

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Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/

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