Parables Part 1 - New Wineskins
Matthew 9:16-17, “No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. 17 Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Mark 2:21-22, Luke 5:37-38)
As we begin a journey through the parables of Jesus in the Gospels, this is a wonderful place to start, because when we approach Scriptures we need to be a vessel that can be filled with the truth of God’s Word by His Holy Spirit. This parable teaches us a simple truth, you don’t put new cloth on an old garment, or the patch will tear away when it shrinks making the hole worse. Nor do we put new wine into old wineskins. Old wineskins would become brittle and hard, they had no give, so as the new wine continued to ferment the old wineskin would break spilling the wine. Therefore, we are to be new wineskins in our relationship with the Lord.
What does it mean for us to be new wineskins? Simply put, it means we are ready to receive from the Lord whatever it is He has for us. Perhaps we need to receive truth and application of that truth to our lives. Maybe we need to receive correction, or instruction, or encouragement and we need to be ready to receive them. God may want to call us to a new ministry or service role and we would need to be ready to receive that as well. Perhaps God wants to pour out some blessing or empowerment on us, or maybe He wants to test us and a trial is on its way or is already here, and we need to be willing vessels to receive that from the Lord. With that in mind we have to ask the question, how do we get ready?
We are told in Matthew 24:44, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” The word ready here is hetoimos and it means to be prepared or to be in a state of readiness. That solves all our questions right? I know, not really. Think about getting ready for church on Sunday, you probably take a shower, put on some nice clothes, comb your hair, brush your teeth after having breakfast, and so on. This is not really different, in order for us to be ready we first have to be cleaned and clothed by the blood of Jesus Christ, we need to be saved, so we are ready when Jesus returns. Next, we have to let Him clean up our lives and get rid of the sin and hang-ups that would keep us from following Him wholly. Finally, we have to have an intimate relationship with Him through His Word, Prayer, Worship, and Service. As we let the Holy Spirit attend to these things in our lives, and we have a willing heart and spirit to receive from the Lord whatever it is He wants to give us, then when He pours out that new wine into our lives, we will be new wineskins, prepared to receive everything He has for us.
Image Borrowed from Psephizo.com