Luke 5:27-39

Jesus asks Levi to come with him

27 After this happened, Jesus went away from that house. He saw a man that took taxes from people. He was working in his office. His name was Levi. Jesus said to him, ‘Come with me and be my disciple.’ 28 So Levi got up and he went with Jesus. He left everything behind.

29 Soon after this, Levi made a large meal for Jesus at his house. Many people also came and they were eating with them there. Some of them took taxes from people, as Levi did. 30 Some Pharisees and teachers of God's Law saw them there. So they said to Jesus' disciples, ‘You eat and drink with these bad people and with men who take taxes from people. That is not right.’

31 Jesus answered them, ‘People who are well do not need a doctor. It is people who are ill that need a doctor. 32 Some people think that they always obey God. I have not come to help people like that. Some people know that they have done wrong things. I am asking those people to come to me for help. I want them to change how they live.’

33 Then the Jewish leaders said to Jesus: ‘The disciples of John the Baptist often choose to fast for a time. Then they can pray to God a lot. The disciples of the Pharisees also do that. But your disciples never do that. They continue to eat and drink every day.’

5:33John the Baptist and the Pharisees taught the people rules about prayer. They taught them to fast sometimes, so that they would have time to pray.

34 Jesus answered them, ‘When a man marries a wife, you cannot stop his friends from eating. They will continue to eat while he is with them. 35 But there will be a time when people take that man away from his friends. Then they will decide to fast.’

5:35Jesus is teaching that his disciples will be happy while he is still with them. But he will not always be with them. Then they will be sad and they may choose to fast.

36 Jesus told them this story: ‘Nobody tears a piece of cloth from a new coat to mend an old coat. If he does that, he will have torn the new coat. Also, the piece of cloth from the new coat will not look the same as the old coat.

5:36Men were teaching people about the rules that God gave to them. In this picture story the old cloth is what these men taught. The new cloth is what Jesus was teaching. God gave his rules to his people by Moses. Those that taught these rules often taught their own ideas instead. This was why Jesus so often spoke against them. He also spoke against what they taught.

37 And nobody pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does that, the new wine will tear the old wineskins. He will lose the wine and the wineskins will also spoil. 38 Instead, you must put new wine into new wineskins.

5:37Wine grows bigger while it is getting older. But old wineskins become hard. New wine would cause them to break as it gets older.

39 Also, nobody wants to drink new wine after he has drunk old wine. He will say, “The old wine is much better.” ’

5:39Jesus is teaching that the old rules are like old wineskins. What he is teaching is new. It needs a new wineskin.