2012-05-25 - Out with the Old, In with the New
Today's parable can be found in Luke 5:37-39, Matthew 9:17, and Mark 2:22. We will read it from Luke 5.
Luke 5:37-39 (NKJV) And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, 'The old is better.'"
The parable is butted against a very similar one about clothes. The cloth spoke of spiritual wholeness and the wine speaks of spiritual fullness. As with the other parables this one has multiple layers of application.
The primary application is the meaning intended for the immediate audience when he first spoke it. Jesus had introduced new wineskins to put God into in contrast to the regular Jewish way of thinking that God had been viewed in.
As background here is some information taken from the Boston Christian Bible Study Resources web site (bcbsr.com):
"The fermenting of new wine builds up pressure in its container which can burst old skins. You'll notice the effect if you open a corked wine bottle. Biblical Christianity has a great deal of power and activity associated with it. It explodes out of the boundaries of Israel and continues to cross all kinds of boundaries. It cannot be contained. Neither can its practice be limited to a set of commandments. The Holy Spirit ferments the believer, helping him to infer applications from the Bible that apply to his particular situation. And having been fermented, believers are sometimes literally mistaken for drunkards.
'These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning!' Acts 2:15
The old covenant had finished fermenting. Not only that, but Israel had drunken it down and now all that was left was an old wineskin it had been contained in. Yes, it was good wine, having been aged. But its time was over. Its effect was completed and the fulness of the times had come for the new wine of the new covenant.
'So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.' Gal 3:24,25
'But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.' Gal 4:4,5
But then the most reluctant people to accept the new wine were those Jewish religious leaders, drunk on the old wine. So drunk that they kill their own Messiah. They considered the old wine better. But the Gentiles accepted the new wine."
Jesus introduced new ways that went against the old ways of the Pharisees. His ways couldn't be contained by religious rules. His ways consisted of relationships.
The old ways said don't touch a leper but Jesus touched him anyway. The old ways said don't "work" on Sabbath but Jesus healed on Sabbath. The old ways said he should fast but instead, Jesus feasted. The old ways said whatever you do don't be seen with sinners and yet Jesus loved being in the midst of them. He realized we are all sinners.
Until next time ...
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted.