After reading vs. 26 I couldn’t help but think of this quote from a movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVgjH_auRH4
We have seen in Matthew the story of Jesus speaking from the boats on the Sea of Galilee. Peter’s confession that he is a sinful man should strike a chord with us. But it also reminds us that Jesus can only use the sinful. It is all that he has to use. We find a similar scenario when he calls Levi in vs. 27 who was a tax collector. We know their infamous reputations, but it was all Jesus had to work with.
When Jesus forgives the sins of the paralytic man people are incensed. How can any man forgive the sins of any person? Jesus’ answer is priceless. What is easier to say: I forgive your sins or get up and walk and be healed? Well, the I forgive your sins would be easier because there really is no way to prove whether you have forgiven that person’s sins or not. But if you tell someone that they are healed and that they are to get up and walk, well, either they get up and walk or they don’t. If they get up and walk then that person has just performed a miracle and he just might be able to forgive peoples’ sins as well. If that person doesn’t get up and walk then it is easily discernible that the person is not telling the truth. Jesus does both, forgives that man’s sins and cures his paralysis.
The teaching that Jesus gives starting in vs. 36 is a fundamental teaching. You can’t sew a new patch on an old garment or else it just will tear away. The same could be said today. You can’t solve the problem of disorganization by getting a computer that places everything in files electronically if you don’t have someone who knows how to do that. A new solution must take into account the resources and the people that you have to work with. This reference to the old wine vs. the new wine is in some ways a repetition of the point that is made not by Jesus but by the chief steward in John 2:10.