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New Wineskins

At last, we come to the Gospel passage from which this project gets its name! Ironically, on this occasion, I’m violating one of the rules of the project by imposing my own interpretive framework on this particular play.

These stories were clearly intended to be about faith, in a mode I like to call “Faith one-upmanship”:

“Here’s a man who left everything at just two words from Jesus!”

“Oh, yeah? Well, here’s a woman who believed that just touching his cloak would be enough to heal her!”

“Oh, yeah? How about a man who is certain that Jesus can still heal his daughter even after she’s died?”

The same kind of thing happens in the story of the Roman centurion, who not only has faith that Jesus can heal his servant, but assumes he can do it without even coming to the house.

It would have been interesting and useful to explore these stories of extreme faith, but instead, I saw the possibility of creating a Faith-Hope-Love pattern, and jumped at it. So I make Matthew’s sudden choice a matter of hope, and Jairus’ insistence that Jesus still come to his house a matter of love. Again: this is clearly not what the original texts are about, but I hope that I’ll be forgiven my liberties in this, the Wineskin play.

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