No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.
Undeniably, we live in a culture that loves a quick fix. Drive through oil change, 15 minute tire rotation, fast food, and social media in 140 characters or less. This is nothing new. If there is a quicker way to fix something, why not? It seems like we would even sacrifice quality for expediency sometimes. Okay, maybe it just doesn’t “seem” like it. It’s true. I mean people are eating up some disgusting fast food like its going out of style.
We’d often rather throw a quick patch on a problem than really get to the heart of what’s wrong. Sometimes, things simply require significant maintenance or an extensive overhaul.
These words of Jesus come in Matthew 9:14-17 as a response to the questioning by the disciples of John over the issue of fasting, but the real issue is clear. They are concerned about what it takes to be righteous. “Why we doing this and your disciples aren’t?” they ask. “How do we maintain an appropriate level righteousness before the law?” they wonder. As we see over and over in the teaching of Jesus, he will quickly reveal (whether or not they realize it) that something serious, something extensive, is going to happen.
The religious structures that were in place are going to have to experience some serious overhaul. In fact, the old must be replaced with something new. A patch simply will not do anymore…