New Wineskins


Lk 5:36 He told them this parable: “No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old.
Lk 5:37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out, and the wineskins will be ruined.
Lk 5:38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.
Lk 5:39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is better.’ ”
  1. Old & new patches;
    1. this is about the impact of Jesus and the message of the kingdom, on the individual believer;
    2. Would we cut out a patch from a new piece of clothing, to fix a hole in an old garment? So, why take that approach to what we believe?
    3. Jesus is saying to his audience of Jewish people, that they can’t take some elements of his teaching and fit it into their current belief systems. His kingdom message is a radical one-think back to the things I spoke about the other week, in Matthew 5, where Jesus said “you have heard it was said…... but I tell you….”
    4. So, in the kingdom, there is a limit to mixing up old and new, in terms of the way we think about things and our behaviour patterns.
    5.  We need to embrace the whole message of the kingdom and not self select…..oooh, I like this stuff about loving each other and Jesus loving me, healing me, but I don’t like this bit about being obedient or making Jesus Lord of my life
    6. Obviously, we all know we are involved in a process of learning, changing, so Jesus will make us aware of where we need to change along the way-however, we need to guard against a pick & mix approach to our own salvation
    7. In terms of people we come across, who are not believers, some times, they too, don’t want the ‘whole’ package-but without the ‘whole’ package, we cannot expect to experience the ‘fullness’ of Jesus; we all need that new start, the slate wiped clean; to be born again
  2. new wine & new wine skins
    1. This link to the previous picture, in the sense that new has to fit into new, because the old can’t contain it;
    2. With the picture here, typically new wine is still fermenting, giving off gases and needs space to go through the process, because it expands and bubbles
    3. However, the other way that the picture of ‘new wine’ is used, is to represent the work of the spirit. Think about how the disciples were, in Acts 2
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment …Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?
Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?
—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Some, however, made fun of them and said, “they have had too much wine.’”
    1. The ‘new wine’ was poured in, and it spilt out over the top
    2. We’ve been made new, through being ‘born again’
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’”
Jn 3:4 “How can a man be born when he is old?”
Jn 3:5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
Jn 3:7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
Jn 3:8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Eze 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
Eze 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Ro 7:6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
    1. We need to stay like new; new in our attitude and thought; not become cynical and hardened;
Zec 7:12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry.
    1. new in our response (Ro 12 renewal of mind); need to keep a heart of flesh. Need to stay close to Jesus and full of the Holy Spirit
    2. Qualities of freedom are very important, but we need to have the right balance gal 5 v1 and 13. Liberation, not bondage
    3. we need to be adventurous in our life of faith and have an appetite for the new
Isa 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.………because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, Isa 43:21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
    1. what will he do with us-am I elastic enough to be able to stretch and respond? Have I become ‘fixed’ like the old wineskin? This is not about capacity to do more, this is about flowing with the spirit
  1. after the old ‘mature’ wine, no-one wants the new;
    1. We often love old things; I have the Morris Minor, a classic car; people love old buildings, old paintings, old objects; often, these ‘antiques’ are valued highly, above the everyday object
    2. We need to be careful that we don’t apply this to our faith and how we do things in the church
    3. Not change for change sake but responding to the life of Christ within us


Sue Blake, 21/07/2009