Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

Christ Our Physician, Bridegroom, New Wine, and Shepherd

Today I have an uplifted appreciation for six items of the unsearchable riches of Christ revealed in Matthew 9. Christ is our Physician and Bridegroom, the unfulled cloth to make the new garment, the new wine to fill the new wineskin, and the Shepherd.

So in this post we’ll consider the  wonderful progression of the revelation of Christ in this chapter.

The Physician and the Bridegroom

I am very impressed with the progressive revelation of Christ in Matthew 9. First, He reveals Himself to us as our Physician (Matt. 9:12). This is because in His economy Christ first ministers to us as such a Healer, recovering, enlivening and saving us. He does this with the purpose that we might enjoy Him as the Bridegroom and that He might gain us for His bride (v. 15). As the Physician, He recovers our life. Then as the Bridegroom, He brings us into a living of enjoyment in His presence.

The Unfulled Cloth to Make the New Garment

However, to enjoy Christ as our Bridegroom we need to be properly clothed (Matt. 22:11). So Christ came through incarnation as a piece of unfulled cloth in His human living on this earth (Matt. 9:16). He did not want us to imitate Him outwardly because that would just be to put a patch of untreated cloth on an old garment which would shrink and tear a hole. Rather, Christ came that He might pass through death and resurrection to be “treated” as the cloth for making the new garment so that we could be clothed with Him in resurrection (Gal. 3:27). This is like the story of the returned prodigal son upon whom the father placed the best robe (Luke 15:22). Christ is our wedding garment qualifying us to attend His wedding feast.

The New Wine to be put into the Fresh Wineskin

To enjoy Christ as our Bridegroom, it is not sufficient to be clothed with Him outwardly. We also need to be filled with Him as the new wine inwardly (Matt. 9:17) . This new wine signifies Christ as the new life, full of vigor and cheering strength, stirring us to excitement and satisfying us. It is so good that since Christ has been processed through death and resurrection, we may now drink of Him. By calling on the Lord Jesus, we drink of Him and are inwardly filled with Him as the new wine, the exciting life.

When we enjoy the new wine we discover that this new wine requires a fresh wineskin to contain it. Since new wine, is full of vigor, or fermenting power, it would burst the old wineskins. To put the new wine in old wineskins is to attempt to put Christ into an old religion, with its forms and traditions. The result would be the loss of the new wine and the destruction of the old wineskins. Rather, we must put Christ as the new wine into the fresh wineskins, signifying the corporate Christ in the proper church life.

The Shepherd

Finally, I enjoyed that this unsearchably rich Christ is not only our Physician and Bridegroom, but also our Shepherd (v. 36) . At the time that the Lord Jesus came, God’s people were like sheep gone astray (Isa. 53:6) and He came as the Shepherd into the wilderness of this world to find us as that one lost sheep (Luke 15:6). Having found us, He put us on His shoulders and brought us home. Here He feeds us with Himself as our green pastures that is with the riches of His life (Psa. 23:1-2). For more development of Christ’s shepherding in Psalm 23 you may want to read my post A Fresh Appreciation for  Psalm 23.

May we all go on to experience and enjoy such a Christ so that we might live in the reality of the kingdom of the heavens today.

Lord Jesus, thank you, for being such an all-inclusive Christ to us. Praise you, that You are our real Physician, Bridegroom, new garment, new wine and Shepherd. You came to find us as our Shepherd. You’re healing us as our Physician. You’re attracting us as our Bridegroom. You cloth us outwardly as our new garment and You fill us inwardly as our new wine. You even make us corporately the fresh wineskin to contain you. Lord, make all these precious aspects of Yourself our daily experience and enjoyment that we may become those who live in the reality of the kingdom of the heavens today.

The inspiration for this post came from my enjoyment of The Holy Word for Morning Revival  on The Crucial Elements of the Bible which is based on The Life-study of Matthew, by Witness Lee, especially messages 27-28 available to read online at ministrybooks.org.

For a further appreciation of this topic you may also want to visit a similar post at agodman.com.

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

One Reply

  1. Beatriz

    “To put the new wine in old wineskins is to attempt to put Christ into an old religion, with its forms and traditions…. Rather, we must put Christ as the new wine into the fresh wineskins, signifying the corporate Christ in the proper church life.”

    Sorry to bother you with my questions, but I am in darkness in some aspects of the truth. For instance, the previous paragraph will mean that the presence of the Lord is only in the proper church life?

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