New vs. Old Nature

Yesterday we gave a brief overview of the ancient practice of using wineskins to ferment wine. Let’s dig deeper into the nuances of this practice to further understand this analogy Jesus used in the Bible.

The greek words for “new” and “old” do not simply denote age but “nature” or “essence”. New wineskins by nature are elastic, full of oils, supple, thick, and can be sewn and shaped. Whereas old wineskins are stretched, thin, rigid, and more brittle; making it impossible for new wine to be produced because they lack the necessary capacity for juice to ferment into good wine. The potential for what the wine could be, is lost.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”
Luke 5:37-38  

This analogy adds something very important to the lesson Jesus is teaching (Mark 2, Luke 5) and Paul is trying to help us understand (Eph. 4, Col. 3).
Jesus, being the master storyteller that he is, uses  wineskins to give profound and agitating insights for us about truth and life. The parable was taking something very practical, like putting new wine into old wineskins, to show us the futility of trying to add our new nature to our old way of life.

  Jesus makes it clear: The old man cannot mix the old and new or the new will be lost. Just like the old wineskin, the old man cannot expand or grow to accommodate the new man. Nor can he contain the new growth, good fruit, character, healing, and maturity our Dad has for each of us as His sons and daughters.  He loves us where we are, but wants continually to take us and make us what we were created to be; always trying to “produce new wine” in our lives.  

- Where do you feel “stretched” or “thin” like you are attempting to put new wine into an old wineskin?
- How does the reality of needing to “put away the old” so that new wine can be produced feel?






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