He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old.
- Luke 5:36
Have you ever tried to patch and old pair of bluejeans? If you patch them with cloth that hasn’t been through the dryer yet, that first time will scrunch up everything because the new cloth will shrink, but the bluejeans won’t.
This is Jesus’s picture of how his teaching will affect us. If we just try to patch up our lives with a bit of Jesus here and there, it makes a mess. Maybe we try to put a little bit of Jesus on our tense relationship with mom and on that one big career decisions, but we leave out our finances, our relationships and our morality. Or we get stressed so we try a bit of Jesus to calm us down - but don’t really put on the full garment of Christ. The first time through the dryer (read: when things get hard), your life with get all scrunched up because Jesus’s ways won’t match yours.
The Apostle Paul puts it this way: Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14). He’s not talking about slapping on a Jesus bandaid here or there. He’s talking about the whole outfit. In another passage he lays out what that looks like. Take some time to read over this passage slowly, letting the words sink in. Hold onto the word or image that strikes you most and talk with Jesus about it:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)