New Wine in Old Wineskins

The Bible has stories etched thru it in the form of parables. Jesus used concepts and customs of that day to drive home spiritual truths. One of those stories is the story of old and new wineskins. The Bible states in Matthew 9: 16-17,

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved”

During the time Jesus walked on Earth, people carried liquid in animal skins. Fermented liquids, such as wine, would expand during the fermenting process. If you attached a new patch of animal skin to an already expanded ‘old’ animal skin, the new patch would expand as the fermenting wine expanded, thus causing the old skin to detach from the new patch.

At the time Jesus spoke this parable, John the Baptist was in prison for declaring that Jesus was the Lamb of God and for baptizing Him in the River Jordan. While in prison, John sent his disciples to see Jesus’ activities.

They returned to report that Jesus was gathering and eating with sinners. John may have been disturbed by this news because he was a keeper of the law, observing fasting rituals and abstaining from strong drinks and particular foods.

What Jesus was trying to illustrate in the parable is that He came to introduce something new that neither John the Baptist nor the people of that day had ever experienced before.

Isaiah 43:19 is a foretelling of the coming Messiah and the redemption of man back to God. It states, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

You cannot put a “new thing” into an old way of thinking. What Jesus was saying is, in order to contain the “new wine” He was offering, you have to remove your old way of thinking and accept His message in a new mind.

II Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It!

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