Taken from Pete’s series What Will Jesus Do?.
Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.
— Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven
Once we admit we’re messy, what will Jesus do with our mess?
In Luke 5:36-37, Jesus shares a parable with the Pharisees—the tidy-makers.
“No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment … And no one pours new wine into old wineskins … the new wine will burst the skins ….”
Jesus was saying, “Don’t mix old and new.”
He knows there are holes in our character, but Jesus says to us, “I’m not going to try to patch you up. I’m not going to try to fix you. That’s not why I came.”
Well, Jesus, why did You come?
Seven times in this short parable, Jesus uses the word new. When we come to Jesus and set our old lives—our messiness—before Him, His goal isn’t to make us tidy. His goal is to make us new.
Jesus makes messy people into new people. He will make us new and pour new life into us.
Sounds awesome, but it isn’t always easy. In fact, Jesus closes this parable with an astute social observation, “And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better’” (Luke 5:39).
Friends, Jesus knows the newness can be scary. He knows we are comfortable in the old. But still He asks us to leave familiarity and follow Him. He asks us to dismiss comfort and embrace this new life He has for us.
Did you notice how often Jesus sought out messy people? He sought out messy people then, and He still seeks out messy people now. Through His Spirit living in us as believers, Jesus invites messy people to Him, makes them new, and pours new life into them. And, after we’re made new, we get to be part of the inviting.
Jesus, give me eyes and ears for all the messy people around me. Give me love for them and patience with their untidiness. I release the need to fix people and will leave the “making new” to You. Holy Spirit, I can’t wait to see whom You invite through me! Amen.