Mark 2:13-22 NLT
13 Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.
15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”
17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
18 Once when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and asked, “Why don’t your disciples fast like John’s disciples and the Pharisees do?”
19 Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can’t fast while the groom is with them. 20 But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 21 “Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before. 22 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wine skins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”
Levi was considered the lowest of the low by Jewish leaders because he made his living collecting taxes from his countrymen on behalf of the Roman Government. He was a traitor to their nation. However, the Jewish leaders were equally as treasonous because they would not relinquish the authority that Rome had granted them and recognize Jesus as Messiah. For him to be Messiah would require they deny themselves their privileges and the loved their privileges. They were old in their thinking. They could not accept new contents within themselves because they refused to permit God to change their old externals.
Jesus wanted them, and us, to realize that through Faith in Christ we receive new contents that changes us from the inside outward. Our inner nature becomes merged with the Holy Spirit of God who grows our outer nature increasingly into His own image.
The Pharisees desperately hung on to their traditional practices, because with these they could intimidate and control the people of Israel into obeying them. But they objected to the very same tactics by the Roman World Government, though they would not hesitate to use that government for their own personal ends. Old is not compatible with new. God wanted to make them new, as He does us too. Are you new yet? You can be today!
Your servant in Christ's love