17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”
This particular parable has been one that is a constant reminder for me throughout my life. I have heard this spoken on, debated over, preached on for at least 30 years. I find myself again with a new take on the parable now.
In the scriptures, John the Baptist’s disciples are questioning Jesus on fasting and Jewish laws. Jesus uses the parable of the wine skins to state that His followers were not trying to get into commune with God and seek unspoken answers. But by being in His presence His disciples were with God, in the form of Christ, and were being filled physically and spiritually.
Jillian and I have recently moved into a new house and this has been such a blessing. The children are able to have play dates across the street and the people are really warm and welcoming. A couple of days after moving into the house, we receive a notice that our water main system would be completely remolded and the project would take place between May 1 and August 31, the entire summer. This was a new issue as a new homeowner that we were not ready, but it is a needed update. The old system seems to have been placed about 70 to 80 years ago and the pipes were 4 inches wide. The new system is 8 inches wide, which will decrease the current flow by half and increase the efficiency of the system. The city was looking forward to the future and anticipating the stress of the system with the growth of the community and decided to make the proper plans and mitigate the situation before there are worst complications from the existing pipes. As with Christ’s disciples, he was making new connections and understandings in the midst of mature and solid doctrine. Christ didn’t completely destroy the beliefs of the disciples, He upgraded them to hold more capacity and be able to work more efficiently.
With the guidance and direction of the Spirit, I have been mentoring a young man who has had a history of violence and brokenness. We have on several occasions visited with each other and have created a space of connection and healing. As we have visited the Spirit has allow each other to come together in peace and understanding. If we had met several years ago and under different circumstances, we would never have this connection. As we fellowshipped, the Spirit was physically and spiritually changing both of us, the Spirit was creating New Wine Skins in us. This was truly palpable and awe inspiring. A young man who has been hardened by life, choices, and circumstances allow the Spirit to transform him into something different and something stronger. He and I, together have allowed God to transform our Old Wine Skins (the manner in which we perceive people and life) and form New Wine Skins (a renewed life in the Spirit and not allowing others to influence the newness of the change).
New wine skins and Old wine skins are not necessarily talking about people (the Pharisees or John the Baptist’s disciples or others), but the refocus and realignment of our thoughts on how we see and recognize Christ. If we continue with our old habits and refuse to change, we will not be doing God’s work [Old Wine Skin}. We would become unfit because we will negate our transformation and testimony. We have to continuously allow the Spirit to renew our old wine skins to reflect the new and awesome wine that is given to us, [New Wine Skins]. This is essential to increase our efficiency as His Workmanship. Be Blessed.