The wineskins (Lk 5:37-5:37)

“No one

Puts new wine

Into old wineskins.

Otherwise,

The new wine

Will burst

The skins.

It will be spilled.

The skins

Will be destroyed.”

 

καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς· εἰ δὲ μήγε, ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος ὁ νέος τοὺς ἀσκούς, καὶ αὐτὸς ἐκχυθήσεται καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ ἀπολοῦνται

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that no one puts new wine (καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον) into old wineskins (εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς).  Otherwise (εἰ δὲ μήγε), the new wine will burst the wineskins (ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος ὁ νέος τοὺς ἀσκούς).  The wine will be spilled (καὶ αὐτὸς ἐκχυθήσεται).  The skins will be destroyed (καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ ἀπολοῦνται).  Mark, chapter 2:22, and Matthew, chapter 9:17, are similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this saying about wineskins.  Mark and Matthew had Jesus continue with his metaphors or parables.  No one would pour new wine into old wineskins or leather pouches, because the pouches would crack.  Thus, the old wineskins would burst open.  The new wine would be spilled, lost, or destroyed, as well as the wine containers themselves.

New wine in old wine skins (Mk 2:22-2:22)

“No one puts

New wine

Into old wine skins.

Otherwise,

The wine

Will burst

The skins.

The wine is lost.

So are the skins.

But one puts

New wine

Into fresh wine skins.”

 

καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς· εἰ δὲ μή, ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος τοὺς ἀσκούς, καὶ ὁ οἶνος ἀπόλλυται καὶ οἱ ἀσκοί. ἀλλὰ οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς καινούς.

 

Luke, chapter 5:37-38, and Matthew, chapter 9:17, are similar to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this saying about wine skins.  Luke also had a more elaborate explanation.  Mark has Jesus continue with his metaphors or parables.  No one pours new wine (καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον) into old wine skins or leather pouches (εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς), because they would crack.  The old wine skins would burst open (εἰ δὲ μή, ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος τοὺς ἀσκούς).  The new wine would be spilled, lost, or destroyed (καὶ ὁ οἶνος ἀπόλλυται) as well as the wine skins (καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ).  New wine should be poured (ἀλλὰ οἶνον νέον) into fresh or new wine skin leather pouches (εἰς ἀσκοὺς καινούς).  Do not mix up the new with the old.

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew had 3 chapters devoted to Jesus and his preaching on the mount or hill.  This Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus that emphasize his moral teaching, the first of his 5 discourses. early in the ministry of Jesus.  Luke had something similar in his sermon on the plain.  This sermon is the longest continuous section of Jesus speaking in the New Testament, containing the central tenets of Christian discipleship.  Thus, it had become the most widely quoted and best known of the teachings of Jesus, with the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer.  These Jesus sayings echo the highest ideals of Jesus’ teachings on spirituality and compassion with acts of mercy, providing both temporal and spiritual benefits.  Jesus also used many metaphors in his sermon.  He reinterpreted the Ten Commandments, particularly about lying, killing and adultery.  The teachings of this sermon have been a key element of Christian ethics with its demanding high moral standards.  Christians were to be perfect with a Christian righteousness.  There have been many different interpretations of this demanding ethical life.  Was this only for clergy and monks?  Is it only an impossible ideal?  Should we take this literally?  Is this only an interim ethic or a future ethic?  Is this the basis of the social gospel and Christian existentialism?  What value do these ideals have for our lives today?

The glorious priest Simon (Sir 50:5-50:10)

“How glorious he was!

He was surrounded

By the people.

He came out

Of the inner sanctuary.

He came out

Of house of the curtain.

He was

Like the morning star

Among the clouds,

Like the full moon

At the festal season,

Like the sun shining

On the temple of the Most High,

Like the rainbow

Gleaming in splendid clouds,

Like roses

In the days of the first fruits,

Like lilies

By a spring of water,

Like a green shoot on Lebanon

On a summer day,

Like fire with incense

In the censer,

Like a vessel

Of hammered gold

Studded with all kinds

Of precious stones,

Like an olive tree

Laden with fruit,

Like a cypress

Towering in the clouds.”

Sirach has a description of how glorious the high priest Simon looked as he was surrounded by the Israelite people when he came out of the sanctuary. He was like the morning star in the clouds, like a full moon at the festivals, like the sun shining on the Lord’s Temple, like the rainbow in the clouds, like early roses, like lilies by a water stream, like green branches of Lebanon on a summer day, like fire and incense in a Temple censer, like hammered gold with precious stones, like a blossoming olive tree, and like a cypress tree reaching to the clouds. Sirach used a lot of metaphors to explain the good looks of this high priest.

Avoid the wicked (Prov 4:14-4:17)

“Do not enter the path of the wicked.

Do not walk in the way of evildoers.

Avoid it!

Do not go on it!

Turn away from it!

Pass on!

They cannot sleep

Unless they have done wrong.

They are robbed of sleep

Unless they have made some one stumble.

They eat the bread of wickedness.

They drink the wine of violence.”

This father maintains that they should not enter the path of the wicked. They were not to walk with evildoers. They were to avoid them, turn away, and pass them by. These evildoer wicked people cannot sleep until they have done something wrong or made someone stumble. They eat wicked bread and drink violent wine. These metaphors tend to emphasis the evil nature of these people. Their very eating and drinking leads them further into evil ways.

Introduction (Prov 1:2-1:6)

Let them learn about wisdom.

Let them learn about instruction.

Let them understand words of insight.

Let them gain instruction in wise dealing.

Let them gain instruction in righteousness.

Let them gain instruction in justice.

Let them gain instruction in equity.

Let them teach shrewdness to the simple.

Let them teach knowledge to the young.

Let them teach prudence to the youth.

Let the wise also hear.

Let them gain in learning.

Let the discerning acquire skill.

Let them understand a proverb.

Let them understand obscure figures.

Let them understand the words of the wise.

Le them understand their riddles.”

Just like the psalms, this book of proverbs has a poetic rather than prose format. Originally this section was one long Hebrew sentence. In order to become wise, they have to learn and understand words of insight, wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity. These proverbs will teach shrewdness, knowledge, and prudence to young people. Even the wise people can gain knowledge and acquire skills in understanding proverbs, obscure statements, and symbols. In fact, these proverbs will help you understand the wise men and their riddles. These obscure figures are more like metaphors, parables, or allegories, while the riddles use analogy.

The innocent do not perish (Job 4:7-4:11)

“Think now!

Who that was innocent ever perished?

Where were the upright cut off?

As I have seen,

Those who plow iniquity

Those who sow trouble reap the same.

By the breath of God they perish.

By the blast of his anger they are consumed.

The roar of the lion,

The voice of the fierce lion,

The teeth of the young lions are broken.

The strong lion perishes for lack of prey.

The whelps of the lioness are scattered.”

Eliphaz continued to talk about how the innocent and upright ones do not perish. Only the iniquitous or evil ones perish. What you sow is what you reap. The upright ones do not perish. Using beautiful metaphors, the evils one perish by the breath of God and the blast of his anger. The evil people are like fierce lions that have no teeth. They die because of the lack of prey. Meanwhile, their young cubs will scatter. He implied that God only punishes the evil ones not the good ones. The fierce toothless lion dies because he can no longer hunt his prey.