Mark 2:18-22

Talks for Growing Christians

Things Were Different Now that Jesus Had Come

Mark 2:18-22

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Lesson Number 9

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Christianity if more than legalistic fasting.
  2. Christianity is more than ritualistic Judaism.

Practical Application

  1. Let's not lose the joy of the Lord through legalism.
  2. Let's not go backwards in the faith through ritualism.


  1. Who fasted? Who didn't fast? Who fasted self-righteously? See also Luke 18:9-14.
  2. Why couldn't a piece of new cloth be sewn into an old garment? Why couldn't new wine be put into old bottles? What do these parables represent?
  3. What is the first hint of the cross in Mark's gospel?
  4. The bridegroom was there and would soon be taken away. When would the joy return?
  5. Why was the law given?
  6. Can law and grace be mixed?
  7. How do we hinder the power of the Holy Spirit?


  1. ohn's disciples and the Pharisees fasted. Jesus' disciples didn't fast. In this account, a particular Pharisee fasted self-righteously.
  2. There were no pre-shrunk garments in those days, so the new cloth would have torn the old garment by putting a strain on it. As for the wine, the new wine expanded as it fermented. The "bottles" were containers made of goatskins, which would become brittle and would break when fully filled. New goatskins would have more elasticity. The old garment and the old wineskins represent ritual and ceremonial forms of Judaism. The new garments and wineskins represent the new Christianity, which is alive.
  3. The time would come when the bridegroom (Christ) was to be taken away (Mark 2:20).
  4. At His resurrection (John 16:19-22).
  5. God gave the law as a foundation or confirmation to prepare and lead the way to Christ.
  6. No. You cannot put Christ into the wineskins of Judaism now that He has come. The new wineskin church is more elastic than Old Testament law and ceremony (as it had become).
  7. In the teaching of the two parables, we see that Christianity should not be boxed in by forms and rituals. Even when we move toward good forms of ritual, we can become rigid through traditions, suppressing the Spirit of God.


  1. What happens when you start to live your life by a set of rules? What happens when you impose your list of rules on others?
  2. Define "worldly." Should we judge others by our standards?


  1. Do you have the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit? If not, what can you do about it? Read Romans 14:17.

Key Verses

  • "Jesus said, 'No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins." (Mark 2:21-22)

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