Translation: 简体中文 繁體中文

The Parable of 
New Cloth on an Old Garment

Matt 9:16; Mk 2:21; Lk 5:36

Luke 5:36 He also told a parable to them. "No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old garment, or else he will tear the new, and also the piece from the new will not match the old." (web)

Discussion Questions

What is the patch? The new garment? The old?
What are the two reasons why people don't do this analogous to?
In what ways might Christians today be cutting pieces out of the new garment and patching them on to the old?
In what way is the old worn out?
It what occasions would you wear such a patched garment? A wedding?


Here Jesus is contrasting the old Mosaic covenant with the new covenant as foretold by the prophets and revealed in the New Testament. The old covenant is a performance-based salvation. One is saved if they live up to a certain level of performance. The new is a salvation-based performance. One is saved through the forgiveness of sins, which requires only faith in Christ's atoning work. And having been saved, God regenerates the person, causing them to live a lifestyle consistent with that of a child of God.

The old covenant is made ineffective by man's innate sinful nature. And Israel's example also gives evidence of this. There are those who fail to keep God's standards, but then think that Christ came simply to help them become better people so that they can be justified by their performance. This is putting a new patch on an old garment.

They have holes in their garments due to sin. Then they cut a patch out of the gospel and try to attach it to a performance-based salvation concept. This is particularly true of those of a "Hyper-Wesleyan" mindset. An example of this are those who say that salvation is obtained by faith as a free gift, but it must be maintained by one's performance or else lost. They will literally quote verses dealing with the old covenant and an apply them to the new, like:

"If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done."Ez 33:13
That is the old covenant concept, not the new convenant concept.


No one tears a patch from a brand new set of clothes
And sews it on an old one, for everybody knows
They end up being ruined the ones which are new
And neither will the patch match the old one too
The Law had its purpose and now it is fulfilled
It brought conviction of our sin which is what God willed
But now by grace we're saved through faith we cannot ask for more
Let's not tear apart that grace to be justified by law.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

Jan 29,2022