To read the texts click on the texts:1 Cor 4:1-5; Lk 5:33-39
In Luke, this episode about fasting continues from the previous one (5:27-32) in which after the call of Levi (5:27-28), Jesus eats in Levi’s house along with tax collectors and others. This table fellowship leads the Pharisees to murmur. Jesus responds with a common proverb about only the sick needing a physician and then emphasises that he has come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance (5,:31–32). Luke omits Mark’s introduction, which informs us that John’s disciples’ and the Pharisees were fasting, and thus allows the conversation of the previous scene to continue. In response to the comment that John’s disciples like those of the Pharisees fast and pray, Jesus responds with a metaphor of a wedding feast and the inappropriateness of the guests fasting while the wedding is in process and the bridegroom is with them. While in Mark the new or unshrunk cloth is sought to be sewn onto an old garment; in Luke the cloth is first torn from a new garment and then sought to be put onto an old garment. In Luke the destructive effect of tearing the new garment is highlighted. Lk 5:39 is exclusive to Luke and brings out the closed attitude of those who do not want the new. They prefer to stick to the old because they feel comfortable with it and are not willing to change or see things from a new perspective. They insist that the old is good.
It is not always easy to accept change. We prefer to do things the old way and feel comfortable when things remain the same. We must realise that the only thing that is permanent is change and we must get used to it. While we need not change just for the sake of changing, we must be open and receptive to change and be ready to change when we have to.