These are my notes from a sermon series I did through the gospel of Mark. It has not been proofed for spelling or grammatical errors. I present it to you as-is.
There are some things that just don’t mix: oil and water, salt and snails, Ragu sauce and watermelon. They just don’t belong together at all.
The same is true for truth. You cannot mix truth and lies and still get truth. For example, you may have heard the phrase, “There are many roads to God.” Many believe a sincere Muslim, a good person who believes in the existence of God, and a true follower of Jesus will all arrive in heaven by following their unique faiths. That’s like saying, “Just dial any number on your phone and my phone will ring.”
There is only one number you can dial to make my phone ring and there is only one way to be made right with God and to arrive in His heaven… that is through Jesus Christ alone. When it comes to the gospel and salvation, Jesus is intolerant. He is gracious, loving, patient, understanding, giving, and merciful but intolerant when it comes to the gospel. Jesus made this clear in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (NLT). That is a very narrow and exclusive point of view when it comes to salvation.
You cannot mix “there are many ways to God” with “Jesus is the only way to God.” You cannot mix “all roads lead to heaven” with “there is salvation in no one else, but Jesus” (Acts 4:12). The Bible says, “God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
What has happened is that people and groups have come along and have presented a completely different alternative way to salvation like Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, WICCA, Native American Spirituality, and a host of others. When I was a chaplain in the prison I worked with all those groups. You had some of them mixing their faiths. They would mix some Christianity with Buddhism, Christianity with Islam, Christianity with Native American Spirituality. But yet, Jesus still says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” You cannot mix Christianity with any of those and still come out with truth and salvation.
That’s more obvious to some. However, there is another mixture that is more deadly. It’s when we mix the saving gospel of Jesus Christ with some good deed or action.
- Jesus plus baptism. Some believe that salvation comes through placing your faith in Jesus AND being baptized. According to the Scripture those two do not mix. When you mix those two together it becomes poison. It doesn’t produce eternal life. When you get saved you are going to want to be baptize you, but that doesn’t save you.
- Jesus plus good works. Some believe that salvation comes through placing your faith in Jesus AND being good and nice and kind. You cannot mix these two together and get salvation. When you get saved you are going to want to do good works, but those good works don’t save you.
- Jesus plus religious activity. This is placing your faith in Jesus AND praying, going to church, reading the Bible, fasting, and giving. Again that’s mixing truth with poison and when you do that you still get poison. When you get saved you are going to want to pray, read the Bible, fast and give, but those religious activities cannot save you.
When someone believes they need Jesus and something else to be saved then they have believed a false gospel. It is Jesus plus nothing that saves. It is Christ alone that brings salvation.
What I have been talking about is what is known as the exclusivity of the gospel. The exclusivity of the gospel refers to the truth that only those who personally, consciously, explicitly, and singularly confess Jesus Christ as Lord can possess eternal life. Let’s look closer at this definition.
- Personally: Salvation comes to us individually, when one follows Christ. No one gains eternal life because of someone else’s faith, or by his or her affiliation with a family, church, ethnic or national group. Each sinner must place their faith in Jesus Christ.
- Consciously: To inherit the Kingdom one must do more than reflect the morals and ethics of Jesus; one must consciously embrace Him, knowingly and intentionally following Jesus. You don’t accidently get saved, it is a conscious decision.
- Explicitly: To be born again a person must place their faith in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, not just in God generically. Believing in the existence of God does not save you, believing in God’s Son does.
- Singularly: Faith in Jesus alone saves, and saving faith must be placed in Jesus alone. This is especially important on the mission field, where missionaries encounter religions, such as Hinduism, where they are happy to add Jesus to their pantheon of gods. We do not add Jesus to our portfolio of faith objects. Christianity is not both/and proposition; it is either/or.
The gospel is an exclusive gospel. You don’t’ mix it with anything for it to work. We have now come to a point in the gospel of Mark where Jesus is about to address this subject with John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees. What we are about to see is…
- Jesus teaching truth, but the Pharisees were committed to tradition.
- Jesus teaching God’s Word, but the Pharisees teaching the ideas of men.
- Jesus proclaiming the gospel of God, but the Pharisees proclaiming a religion of rules to be followed in order to please God and earn your way to heaven.
Verse 18 sets the stage for us. Mark says, “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?’” The disciples of John the Baptist and disciples of the Pharisees were fasting.
For “John’s disciples,” fasting made sense, since at this time John was in prison. They are grieving for their leader. And since fasting is typically a sign of mourning and brokenness before God, they would fast while John’s in jail. They would be praying for John’s release, the leaders involved over John’s case, and that John’s message would continue to spread.
But it is unusual for these two groups to be seen together, since John called the Pharisees a brood of vipers (Matt. 3). These groups would not normally be seen together, let alone agreeing on anything. Yet here they are, both the disciples of John and the Pharisees, approaching Jesus together. Probably the best explanation as to why these two opposite groups came to Jesus together is the evil plans of the Pharisees.
Remember, the devil has many strategies against Jesus and His people, so instead of accusing Jesus like they did in the previous verses, now the devil is going to use the Lord’s own friends against Him. If you want to destroy a leader, one of the best ways is to use someone that is a friend. Most likely the Pharisees noticed the disciples of John fasting like they fasted, so they prodded John’s disciples to question the Lord, hoping to expose Christ as superficial, not “serious” like them.
Remember, Jesus and John the Baptist are closely linked –
- John is the forerunner of Christ.
- He announced Christ coming and as the Lamb of God.
- John is the one who said he should not baptized Jesus, but Jesus should baptize him.
- John is the one who pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
- Some of John’s disciples had already become Jesus’ disciples. Many of John’s disciples are friends of Jesus’ current disciples.
I believe the Pharisees are using the friends of Jesus to attack Jesus. They will also use this technique later with Judas.
Now, the reason the “Pharisees” fasted is a totally different reason than the fasting of the disciples of John. The religious law only required fasting one day per year, on the Day of Atonement. But over the course of time, the Pharisees added four other annual fasts. And by the time of the New Testament, the religious were fasting twice a week – every Monday and Thursday. They would fast from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm on those days.
For the Pharisees, fasting was show time for how spiritual and religious they were.
- When they fasted some of them would whiten their faces to look more pale so it looked like they were really starving.
- They would put ash on their heads so people could see it as a sign of mourning.
- They would wear their fasting clothes to further identify they were serious about their religion,
- and some would even use eye makeup to give their eyes that sunk in look.
They did all this to gain a reputation for being super reverent and super religious.
But Jesus would teach His followers to never do things like this. Never put on a show of how spiritual you are. Jesus said in Matthew 6, “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you” (vs.16-18, NLT).
The Pharisees’ religion was all about the external and how it looked. It was all about following the religious rules made by man like fasting on Monday and Thursday. We have to be careful that we don’t slip into this ourselves. What the devil will do is he will take your spiritual disciplines, your spiritual habits, and the spiritual tools that are good and turn them into a point of pride and division. For example,
- Church attendance: I remember when I started growing spiritually I started noticing that if you came to church on Sunday that was good, but if you came to church on Sunday morning and Sunday night that was better, and if you came to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night you were a super committed Christian. Your church attendance was associated with your commitment to Jesus. That’s possible, but it also possible that they were just committed to church attendance. Your spiritual maturity was identified by how many services you went to during the week. That is a Pharisee approach to evaluating someone’s spiritual maturity. That’s what the Pharisees were doing with fasting when it came to Jesus and His disciples.
- Bible translations: If we are not careful we will evaluate someone’s commitment to Jesus based on the Bible translation they used. We will say, “If they were committed to Jesus and His Word, then they would use this particular translation.” That is a Pharisee approach to evaluating someone’s commitment to Jesus. A modern Pharisee would say, “If Jeff Stott was serious about God’s Word he would use a NASB, ESV, or CSB translation rather than the NLT.” The Pharisees were doing this with fasting when it came to Jesus and His disciples.
- This mindset can be applied to quiet times, giving, and how much you volunteer in the church and a host of other things. The Pharisees would take things like fasting to determine if someone was truly dedicated to God or not and they would measure them based on these things. Had nothing to do with the heart for them.
So, Mark tells us that “some people” came to Jesus and asked Him a question. These “some people” were probably a mixture of John’s disciples and the Pharisees. John’s disciples had this question for legitimate reasons, they were seeking real answers about spiritual matters and their own spiritual understanding of things while the Pharisees motives were more about setting up Jesus for a trap and trying to discredit Him or to find a whole in His armor. According to Matthew it was John’s disciples who actually asked the question (Matthew 9:14).
So they asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples fast like John’s disciples and the Pharisees do?” The implication is this, “Jesus, if you are serious about this kingdom stuff, are you not inferior regarding your spiritual disciplines? You are to slack. You are not committed like you should be. Why do we fast and you feast? Why are we mourning and broken, and you are celebrating and joyful?” Jesus gives a very clear answer. To help them understand, Jesus gives them three object lessons: a wedding, new clothes, and wineskins.
Object lesson #1: A wedding
Then Mark says in verse 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. No one fasts at a wedding. Following Jesus is like being at a wedding – He’s the groom. Being at a wedding is a time of celebration, joy, laughter, and good times. It’s a time of feasting. God in the flesh has arrived, He is walking among us. He is doing miracles. He is casting out demons. He is healing the sick. He is forgiving sins. It’s a celebration. This is not the time to fast. Jesus is saying, “The reason My disciples don’t fast is because being with Me is like being at a wedding!”
During the time of Jesus, weddings were awesome! They were times of celebration, laughter, and joy. At the wedding, the couple would not go away on a honeymoon. They would stay at home and enjoy a unique kind of open house. With all the guests, especially the wedding party, there would be non-stop eating, feasting, singing and dancing. The celebration would last an entire week – seven whole days. The bride and groom were treated like a king and queen, and their friends were there guests of the groom.
Again verse 19 says that Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can’t fast while the groom is with them.” The Bible says there is a time for everything, but fasting during a wedding feast would be most inappropriate. The bridegroom, Jesus, has arrived – it was a time for laughter, not lamentation; a time for feasting not a time for fasting. As a matter of fact, it was considered an insult if you were fasting at a wedding, because fasting is a sign of mourning and inward reflection, but weddings are to be a time of celebrating, joy and laughter and looking toward a hopeful future.
But as Jesus continues His answer He gives a warning in verse 20 when He says, “But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.” This is the first time in the gospel of Mark that we get a hint or a glimpse into the crucifixion, cross, and death of Jesus. Jesus knew what was ahead for Him.
The phrase “taken away” literally means to be taken away with violence. It is a quick and sudden and violent removal. This is strange, because what groom is going to be removed by force from his own wedding? But Jesus is referring to something that is going to interrupt the celebration of His presence, at least temporarily.
When Christ is crucified, Jesus says His disciples will fast, and in the future, the Church will fast, like they did before they sent out Paul and Barnabas in Acts 13:2 which says, “One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.’ So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way” (vs. 2-3, NLT).
When they ask Jesus why His disciples were not fasting He basically just told them, “God is in their midst. Isn’t that what you fast for? People are being healed by God. Isn’t that what you fast for? People are responding to God’s truth. Isn’t that what you fast for? Demons are being cast out and people are being delivered. Isn’t that what you fast for? People are repenting of sin. Isn’t that what you fast for? God is among us and doing the miraculous! This is a time of celebration, it’s like a week long wedding that feast on the power and presence of God. That’s why My disciples don’t fast. Something new is happening! Something different is occurring! Something fresh is going on! So you can keep on doing all your spiritual rituals and you can dot your “I”s and cross your “t”s when it comes to your spiritual checklist and upholding all your religious traditions, but while you are doing that you are going to miss out on what God is doing right in front of you.”
Object Lesson #2: New clothes
The gospel of God cannot be attached to other religions.
So then, Jesus gives them another illustration to answer their question and to help them understand what is going on. Jesus says in verse 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.” The Pharisees religion was called Judaism and they observed fast days and had rules and regulations they attached to God’s Word. It focused on following rules, driven by legalism, and what you could observe on the outside of people – the externals. Jesus comes along and teaches the gospel of God and about His kingdom and this would become known as Christianity. Jesus is saying that Judaism and the gospel cannot be joined together. They cannot be sewed or patched together. If you take the gospel and add it to Judaism it would tear apart. It won’t work. They are not compatible.
What the Pharisees, the disciples of John, and us have to realize is that Jesus was bringing something new and different. He had not come to patch Judaism, patch Islam, patch, Buddhism, patch some other religion or to improve any other world religion or self styled religion. The gospel is unique and exclusive. It stands by itself. It is complete.
- Another way to understand this is you cannot join evolution with creation in Genesis 1. They don’t go together. You cannot patch those two together.
- You cannot join salvation in Christ alone and sew in the belief that you can save yourself – it will not work.
Jesus is stating that He is bringing something entirely new onto the scene, He is announcing the coming of the Kingdom of God and He is proclaiming the Good News that God is bringing.
Just like the Pharisees, we all need a new wardrobe. We don’t need to patch up our old way of doing things with God. Jesus didn’t come to patch up our sins. He came to do away with them. In our spiritual darkness of sin we cannot ever fix the problem, we keep on sewing patches onto our worldly ways. Patching doesn’t fix the problem. We need a new set of clothes. We need a new heart, a new mind and we need to become a new creation in Christ. Your old self of sin and your new self in Christ, don’t go together.
Object Lesson #3: Wineskins
Other religions cannot contain the message of salvation by grace.
To drive home His point, Jesus gives another illustration. Jesus says in verse 22, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” Let me paint the picture here so we don’t miss what Jesus is saying. During the time of Jesus, wine was stored in containers made from animal skin (cf. Joshua 9:4, 13). Often goatskins were used for this. They came in various sizes and think of it like a leather bag that would hold the wine. They would take these “wineskins” and pour wine into them for storage. As new wine began to ferment, gas would be released, causing the leather skins to expand. An old wineskin, having lost its flexibility, could break during the process of fermentation. Consequently, the wine would spill and the flask would be destroyed and the wine would spill out and be destroyed as well. In order to avoid this, new wine had to be placed in new wineskins – containers that had the strength and flexibility to hold up as the wine fermented.
Jesus is saying He cannot put new wine (the liberating gospel of grace) into an old wineskin (the legalistic religion of works). It will destroy both. Jesus’ point was that the good news of salvation cannot be poured into the brittle, cracked wineskins of Judaism or any other religion. The gospel is not compatible with any man made or demonic religion the world comes up with.
Jesus is saying there is no mixing of the old ways of works salvation with the coming of the Kingdom, for salvation by grace through faith is a brand new garment, a new wineskin that cannot be mixed with a man centered works righteousness. The works oriented religion cannot contain God’s grace that He is now pouring out. Grace requires new wineskins.
Taken together, these three metaphors (the wedding, the clothes, and the wineskins) illustrate the exclusivity of the Christian gospel, and the tragedy that results when any attempt is made to syncretize the truth with a false religious system. The only true message of salvation is the gospel of Jesus Christ, that pardon from sin comes by grace alone through faith in Him. Anything else is a false gospel that leads not to heaven but to hell (cf. Gal. 1:6-9). In an age where relativism reigns, believers need to be reminded of the fact that truth is exclusive and absolute. Rather than trying to build bridges of artificial unity with false religions lets defend the gospel, promote the gospel, and let the power of the gospel change lives.
The Pharisees were looking for some kind of compromise between the best Christianity had to offer and the best Judaism had to offer. We try to do the same.
The gospel is exclusive in character and nature. You cannot take it and add something to it or add it to something else. It doesn’t work that way.
 The absolute exclusivity of the Christian gospel runs contrary to the pluralistic mindset of contemporary culture. Religious diversity, relativism, and ecumenism are celebrated by the world. Consequently, the people our society most likely will not tolerate are those courageous enough to declare that Christianity alone is true and all other religions are false. Where society celebrates ambiguity, Scripture demands absolute certainty. The Bible is clear that there is only one God, one authoritative divine written revelation, and one way of salvation…. Many other biblical texts underscore the singularity and exclusivity of the Christian gospel (cf. Acts 10:43; 1 Cor. 16:22; Gal. 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5), including this section of the gospel of Mark 2:18-22). These verses provide an unambiguous statement of the narrowness of the gospel – most specifically against the backdrop of apostate Judaism, but by extension in contrast to every other false religious system. (MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Mark 1-8, p.124-125).
 One of the key themes of Mark’s gospel is the conflict that surrounds Jesus. In chapter 1 Jesus is confronted with the temptation of Satan and the dangers of the wilderness and wild animals; then in Capernaum he attends synagogue and is confronted with a demon possessed synagogue member; next Jesus confronts the effects of the Fall by healing various diseases, including leprosy (symbolizing sin). In chapter 2 Jesus heals a paralyzed man but forgives his sin publicly first, thus causing the attending Pharisees to question Jesus in their hearts, accusing him of blaspheming God by taking on the prerogative of God. Now he has the audacity to choose a tax collector as a disciple and to actually eat with all those nasty sinners, and to ignore the fast days that were highly valued by the Pharisees. Jesus is just plain irritating to the Pharisees and in this text he explains why.
 All three of the synoptic writers record this conversation between Jesus and those who questioned Him (cf. Matt. 9:14-17; Luke 5:33-39), and all three place it immediately after the call of Matthew. The chronological sequence is not accidental. Shortly before this, Jesus had stunned the crowds when He declared that He possessed the authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:10). He then demonstrated His eagerness to extend that forgiveness to sinners by calling a tax collector to follow Him as a disciple, and even sharing a meal at the tax collector’s home with his consorts (vv.13-17). Through His actions, Jesus made it crystal clear that the content of His preaching was diametrically opposed to everything the scribes and Pharisees represented. While they articulated a way of salvation through self-righteous effort and legalistic works, the gospel of Jesus Christ focused on divine grace being granted to those believing in Him, who humbly cried out for mercy and repented from sin (cf. Luke 18:9-14). Jesus’ message of forgiveness and repentance was rebuffed by the self-righteous, who self-righteously assumed they did not need it. But it was readily received by those who knew they were not righteous. So, Jesus focused His ministry on being a friend to sinners (Matt. 11:19). It is on the heels of those earlier episodes that Jesus explains just how incompatible His message was with apostate Judaism, and by extension with any system of man-made religion. ((MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Mark 1-8, p.125-126).
 The presence of “John’s disciples” alongside “the Pharisees” is surprising in light of John’s unwavering testimony regarding Jesus (cf. John 1:29; 3:28-30; 5:33). As the herald of the Messiah, John the Baptist boldly pointed his followers to Jesus (cf. Mark 1:7; John 1:36-37), and even baptized the Lord after faithfully proclaiming His arrival (1:9-11). On that occasion, the prophet saw the Holy Spirit descend and heard the affirmation of the Father’s voice (Matt. 3:13-17). Moreover, John had not hesitated to confront the scribes and Pharisees (cf. Matt. 3:7). Why then would some of his followers join them in questioning Jesus on this occasion? The answer probably involves a number of factors. Perhaps this group of disciples was ignorant of the fact that Jesus was the one whose coming John had foretold. John ministered to t3ns of thousands of people, as multitudes traveled from Jerusalem and all over Israel to hear him preach in the wilderness and to be baptized by him in the Jordan River (cf. 1:5). Not all of his followers would have been present when he baptized Jesus. Many would not have witnessed that miraculous event, nor heard John’s clear testimony regarding Jesus on that day. Almost thirty years after Jesus’ baptism, the apostle Paul encountered a group of John’s disciples who still did not know that Jesus was the one to whom John’s ministry pointed (Acts 19:1-7). It is also possible that these disciples were motivated by feelings of jealousy toward Jesus. Though John personally felt no rivalry toward Jesus (cf. John 3:30), some of his disciples were less enthusiastic about Jesus’ growing popularity (John 3:26; 4:1). Perhaps similar feelings of contention motivated these followers of John. For his part, John the Baptist was already in prison (Luke 3:20), which meant he was not available to correct either the misguided ignorance or misplace zeal of those loyal to him. It should be noted that the baptism of John was a baptism of repentance signifying renewed spiritual commitment. Those who heeded John’s message were testifying of a desire to turn away from their sin in preparation for the Messiah’s coming. Having been baptized by John in the wilderness, they returned home more conscientious about spiritual matters and religious observances (like fasting). Thus, some would have naturally gravitated toward the scribes and Pharisees, who outwardly appeared to take religion seriously. Whatever the specific reasons for their association with the religious leader on this occasion, some disciples of John were present when the Pharisees came to ask Jesus a question. (MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Mark 1-8, p.126-127).
 Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving were common expressions of piety in Judaism. All three were performed publicly, providing the Pharisees with a platform to flaunt their ostentatious false devotion. Jesus had confronted directly such superficial spirituality in the Sermon on the Mount, where He taught that fasting, prayer, and almsgiving were to be done in secret, to honor God and not to impress others (cf. Matt. 6:2-6, 16-18). (MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Mark 1-8, p.128).
 Jesus’ point to His questioners was simply this: Judaism at its most devout level, as exemplified by the scribes and Pharisees, was completely out of touch with God’s plan of salvation. They were mourning when they should have been rejoicing, because they had rejected Jesus the Savior and clung to their own rules and regulations to earn salvation. Consequently, they had nothing in common with Him. They were consumed with self-righteousness; he preached divine grace. They denied they were sinners; he preached repentance from sin. They were proud of their religiosity; he preached humility. They embraced external ceremony and tradition; He preached a transformed heart. They loved the applause of men; he offered the approval of God. They had dead ritual; he offered a dynamic relationship. They promoted a system; he provided salvation. (MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Mark 1-8, p.131).
 Jesus was only pointing out that occasional fasting would be proper at a future time, but that joyful celebration should be the normal experience of believers. (Wiersbe, Warren. The Bible Exposition Commentary: Volume 1, p. 117).
 The disciples’ celebration would come to an abrupt end when the groom was unexpectedly snatched away. The verb apairo (taken away) conveys the idea of a sudden, violent removal and serves as a clear reference to Jesus’ crucifixion (cf. Isaiah 53:8). At that time, mourning and grief would be warranted…. Their sadness at the cross was profound. It was transformed into immeasurable joy just three days later when Jesus rose from the grave. After Jesus’ ascension into heaven, His disciples did fast, but only as a voluntary act of humble dependence on God (cf. Acts 13:2-3; 14:23). The disciples did not initially understand Christ’s predictions of His suffering and death (cf. Mark 9:31-32), and this is the first such reference recorded in Mark’s gospel. Yet, His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross was central to His earthly mission – an integral part of the gospel of forgiveness that He preached. (MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Mark 1-8, p.130-131).
 By using this illustration, Jesus refuted once and for all the popular idea of a compromising “world religion.” Well-meaning but spiritually blind leaders have suggested that we take “the best” from each religion, blend it with what is “best” in the Christian faith, and thus manufacture a synthetic faith that would be acceptable to everybody. But the Christian faith is exclusive in character; it will not accept any other faith as its equal or its superior (Acts 4:12). (Wiersbe, Warren. The Bible Exposition Commentary: Volume 1, p. 117).
 Practically speaking, our old selves (our previous experiences, our present level of growth, our intellectual formation, our cherished customs, our prejudices, the familiar, the comfortable) apart from Christ tend to be old wineskins. We have to allow Christ to modify all these areas or we will bust. You may be one who needs to do this today – to say to Christ, “Take my intellect, my customs, my prejudices, the familiar, the comfortable, and renew them to hold your wine. I want all I can get.” Returning to the flow of our text, the reason the Pharisees were repeatedly colliding with Christ was that they were in effect old wineskins. They simply could not handle the real thing. This is what ultimately brought the fatal collisions over the Sabbath. (Hughes, Kent. Mark: Jesus, Servant and Savior, 77).