Seaborn Hall, 3/24/18
Matt 9; Mark 2; Luke 5; John 2
The Old Wineskin Won’t Hold The New Wine
Every gospel has a parable about wine. The first three tell the story of the old wineskin versus the new wineskin. The Gospel of John tells the story of Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding of Cana – turning water into wine.
According to Jesus, no one sews an old patch of garment on to new cloth – if he does, the tear in the old garment becomes greater than it was at first. No one pours new wine into an old wineskin because he will both break the wineskin and lose the wine. One only pours new wine into a new wineskin.
The Gospel of Luke adds that “And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’”
In these parables the old wineskin was represented by the disciples of John and the Pharisees. Neither system or structure was sufficient for God’s present purpose. The new wineskin was Jesus and His disciples.
Jesus and His disciples were a threat to the old structure. So much of a threat that John and his disciples did not understand or recognize what was taking place. Once in prison, John sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the One. The Pharisees completely misunderstood – wanting to kill Jesus in the end.
Building A New Wineskin Means New Structure, New People, And New Methods
What was different about the way that Jesus and His disciples operated compared to the old model?
Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. The church today continues to operate in the same way it has in the past, praying for revival and expecting God to bring a change. But if God brings a change now it will only tear the old cloth, burst the old wineskin.
When Jesus miraculously created new wine at the wedding in Cana He used six water pots already filled with some water to be used for purification. He first asked that the water in the pots be filled “to the brim.” Jesus didn’t pour new wine into old wineskins. He used something new and He filled it to the brim.
A new wineskin – new water pots – must be set in place before new wine can be poured out.
Church Must Be Done In A New Way: Revival Is Still Distant
Revival – or renewal, or whatever you want to call it – is still in the distance. A new building needs to be built. First, new structures, then new life to fill those structures. Church has to be done in a new way before new things can come.
As the main character in the film, Field Of Dreams, is told, “If you build it, he will come.”