Neither do men put new wine into old wineskins: else the wineskins break, and the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish: but they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
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What they say come to this, Be it that you do this as Physician of souls, but why do your disciples neglect fasting and approach such tables? And to augment the weight of their charge by comparison, they put themselves first, and then the Pharisees. They fasted as they learnt out of the Law, as the Pharisee spoke, “I fast twice in the week;” the others learnt it of John.
He means thus; The present is a time of joy and rejoicing; sorrow is therefore not to be now brought forward; and fasting is naturally grievous, and to all those that are yet weak; for to those that seek to contemplate wisdom, it is pleasant; He therefore speaks here according to the former opinion. He also hews that this they did was not of gluttony, but of a certain dispensation.
Here again He confirms what He has said by examples of common things; “No manputteth a patch of undressed cloth into an old garment; for it taketh away its wholeness from the garment, and the rent is made worse;” which is to say, My disciples are not yet become strong, but have need of much consideration; they are not yet renewed by the Spirit. On men in such a state it is not behovefulto lay a burden of precepts. Herein He establishes a rule for His disciples, that they should receive with leniency disciples from out of the whole world.
Herein He also shows us the cause of those condescending words which He often addressed to them because of their weakness.