Can’t quite figure out what is meant by this:
36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.
37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.
38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.
39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”
There are three comparisons: (1) new cloth on an old garment, (2) new wine in old wineskins, and (3) no man having drunk old wine desires new. The meaning is very similar in all three, and they stress Jesus’ unwillingness to make the ceremonial fasts of the Old Testament a large feature of the new kingdom, the necessity of finding new “wineskins” (disciples) who would be able to receive his new teaching (as in the call of Matthew), and Jesus’ understanding of the fact that many of John’s disciples (though not all) would prefer the old ways to the new methods of the approaching kingdom.
From here [Matthew Henry]
It was a wonder of his grace that he proportioned their exercises to their strength. He would not put new cloth upon an old garment (v. 36), nor new wine into old bottles (v. 37, 38); he would not, as soon as ever he had called them out of the world, put them upon the strictnesses and austerities of discipleship, lest they should be tempted to fly off. When God brought Israel out of Egypt, he would not bring them by the way of the Philistines, lest they should repent, when they saw war, and return to Egypt, Ex. 13:17. So Christ would train up his followers gradually to the discipline of his family; for no man, having drank old wine, will of a sudden, straightway, desire new, or relish it, but will say, The old is better, because he has been used to it, v. 39. The disciples will be tempted to think their old way of living better, till they are by degrees trained up to this way whereunto they are called. Or, turn it the other way: “Let them be accustomed awhile to religious exercises, and then they will abound in them as much as you do: but we must not be too hasty with them.’’ Calvin takes it as an admonition to the Pharisees not to boast of their fasting, and the noise and show they made with it, nor to despise his disciples because they did not in like manner signalize themselves; for the profession the Pharisees made was indeed pompous and gay, like new wine that is brisk and sparkling, whereas all wise men say, The old is better; for, though it does not give its colour so well in the cup, yet it is more warming in the stomach and more wholesome. Christ’s disciples, though they had not so much of the form of godliness, had more of the power of it.