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The Lordship of The Holy Spirit

Series: The introductions of the Holy Spirit by Jesus

Previously we looked at Jesus' introduction of the Holy Spirit in John 7 - where Jesus introduces the Holy Spirit by saying it is possible for us to flow in our relationship with Him. And that our relationship with the Spirit is as easy as believing and setting Him as our priority. This week we'll look at Matthew 9.

In Matthew 9:14-17, Jesus responds to a question about fasting, but His proverbial response went beyond fasting.

14 Then the disciples of John [the Baptist] came to Jesus, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees often fast [as a religious exercise], but Your disciples do not fast?”
15 And Jesus replied to them, “Can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
16 But no one puts a piece of unshrunk (new) cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment and a worse tear results.
17 Nor is new wine put into old wineskins* [that have lost their elasticity]; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the [fermenting] wine spills and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, so both are preserved.”
*A skin was a bag made from the skin of an animal. New wine was always put in a new bag so that the bag would stretch as the wine continued to ferment, and then the bag would harden. An old bag would burst if new wine was put in it.
--Amplified Bible.

To Jesus, fasting was a ministry orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. Remember Matthew 4:1-2; Jesus was led of the Spirit...and He then fasted forty days and forty nights. But to the Pharisees and John's disciples, it was another cross off list religious exercise.

So when Jesus was questioned about fasting from the perspective of religious exercise, he was responding from the perspective of what it really is - the perspective of the ministry of the Spirit. I point out this because it is important to help us understand the revelation of verses 16 and 17.

Next, notice that Matthew 9:15 matches the comment in John 7:39. They both speak of Jesus leaving earth after then the Holy Spirit would be given. (The disciples could only fast when the Holy Spirit is given).

Now verses 16 and 17 focuses on the Person of the Holy Spirit. Jesus has established that the disciples could not fast because the Holy Spirit is not yet given. Verse 16 then starts with But - meaning a change in direction or tone. So let us read these revelational meanings into verse 15 to 17:
[15] The disciples could not fast because the Holy Spirit is not yet given. [16] But when He is given, He will not come as a patch to an old clothing (the old man - the flesh), [17] neither would he battle with an old hardened bag (the hardened heart).
Why?...because He is like a new wine which goes with a new bag (wineskin), and when poured into that soft new wineskin (with time, the fermented wine) gives it a new shape.
Jesus in this passage answers the how of John 7, i.e. how do we make His Spirit our priority? By surrendering all - yielding completely. The Lordship of the Holy Spirit is not a divided lordship. Jesus states (by His tear and burst analogies in verses 16 and 17) that a divided lordship just can't work with the Holy Spirit.

When we yield to the lordship of Jesus by the Spirit, we become shaped in the image of Christ. Dear Holy Spirit, we yield to your Lordship today, lead us, teach us, guide us.

God bless you exceedingly.

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