[The Parables] Old and New Wineskins
Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:21, Luke 5:26
Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. “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."
At the time that Jesus walked the earth, He was typically put on the spot by the Pharisees. They questioned and tried Him for what He was doing and saying. Jesus was counterculture.
This the passage above, Jesus explains three main points to John's disciples when they ask Him why His disciples are doing things differently than the ritualistic Jewish tradition that had been happening for centuries.
In the first point Jesus makes He explains His time on earth in the sense of a marriage celebration. Jesus basically says to them, "would the friends of the bridegroom fast and mourn while they were also partaking in wedding festivities?!" The obvious response is "no, they would be celebrating with the bridegroom." Jesus, was telling them that His disciples should be joyful and celebrate that they get to spend time with Jesus, because soon He would no longer be there in flesh, and thus they would fast. They should celebrate because He is the King, the Messiah, the answer to the prophecies, the new hope for the world!
The second and third point Jesus makes go hand-in-hand. Jesus explains that putting new garment on an old cloth would be something that logically wouldn't take place. It would be pointless, because it would ruin both the garment and the new cloth. Same goes for putting new wine in an old wineskin. The wineskin would break and it would lose the wine and break the wine sack. The old that Jesus is talking about here is the Jewish law that the Pharisees were so clearly practicing. He is emphasizing that placing the new covenant in Him inside the parameters of the Pharisees religiosity would be a disaster. The new covenant made by Jesus and the freedom in Him had no place with the self-righteous doctrine that the Pharisees were practicing.
BAM. Jesus made it clear He was making ALL THINGS NEW. Breaking barriers that were keeping His people from God. So, what does this mean? It means living a self-righteous life is like putting a new Christ covered self inside an old religious ritualistic wineskin. It is bound to break and cause a big mess! Because, you cannot be self righteous and be walking in the footsteps of the Messiah.
Friends, I pray that you live a life in full freedom in Christ. Knowing that He loves you, He died for you, and was raised from the dead so that you would walk in His footsteps!