Wineskins

Wine and wineskins, new and old: there are life lessons to be learned in these common things.
The critics, scribes and Pharisees, were determined to find some fault in Jesus and His men that would discredit them in the eyes of the people. It was a difficult job. Discrediting the One who gave a blind person back his/her sight was not easy. Former demon-possessed people, now in their right minds, had little time for theories about their deliverer being in league with the devil. Jesus had done so much profound good for so many people, that only His critics would entertain such nonsense.

What about John and his disciples?
Someone got the bright idea of comparing Jesus and His disciples with John the Baptist and his followers. There was a marked difference. John’s ministry was one of preparation for Messiah. This involved harsh warnings, profound condemnation of evil leaders, strict spiritual disciplines and soul-stirring repentance. Jesus and His men seemed immersed in joy. They laughed often and rejoiced at all the miracles and deliverances at Jesus’ hand. They even enjoyed parties and celebrations, eating their fill and tasting the fine new wine of life. Critics pointed this out.

“Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?”

Jesus tried to explain the difference to them, but explaining such fine points to those whose minds were closed to any explanation was pointless.

The Difference
The difference between Jesus and His men and John and his followers was one of mission.

  • John’s followers fasted to see a nation fall to its knees in repentance. They disciplined themselves toward a specific end—a revival of true spirituality in preparation for the coming of Messiah.
  • Jesus brought the revival for which John and his disciples fasted and prayed. Jesus knew what no one else knew—the time of rejoicing would be short, lasting as long as He was with them.

Hard times would come and then His men would fast and pray. They would also have the help of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. Something John’s disciples did not have.

New Wine and Old
Some of the most famous sayings of Jesus followed:

  • Sewing new cloth onto an old one will tear the garment, and
  • Putting new wine put into old wineskins will burst them.

What did He mean? A New Covenant was coming.

  • There will be new garments of praise—prayer and worship in the Spirit—making the old methods themselves fresh and new again.
  • There will be New Wine of a fresh move of God like nothing ever seen. Both the Old and the New Wine will freely flow from heaven to refresh the saints of God.

This New Covenant move of the Spirit of God will require new thinking and new methods while at the same time making the old wine even more precious.

“But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.'”

Wine and wineskins, new and old: there are life lessons to be learned in these common things.

Scriptures:
Luke: 5:33-39

Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?” And He said to them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.” Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 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. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.'”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, save me from the fear of the new. You are constantly doing new things. The work of Creation continues today. Your new creations require new garments. The fresh move of Your Spirit requires new wineskins. We do not discard the old but maintain it. You said that both the new and the old wine must be preserved. The New Wine and wineskins compliment and carry forward the work of the old. Give me a taste for it all, Lord Jesus! Amen.

Song:
New Wine

Words and Music: Brook Legertwood

In the crushing, In the pressing, You are making new wine
In the soil, I now surrender You are breaking new ground
So I yield to You and to Your careful hand
When I trust You I don’t need to understand.

Make me Your vessel. Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be.
I came here with nothing But all You have given me.
Jesus bring new wine out of me

In the crushing, In the pressing, You are making new wine
In the soil, I now surrender You are breaking new ground
So I yield to You and to Your careful hand
When I trust You I don’t need to understand.

Where there is new wine, There is new power.
There is new freedom. The Kingdom is here.
I lay down my old flames To carry Your new fire today.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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