The Lord's Parable Series:
THE NEW WINE, NEW WINESKINS
(Luke 5:33, 36-39; ALSO Matthew 9:16-17 and Mark 2:21-22)
Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?”...
Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was takenout of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’
The Lord Yeshua addressed this parable to the Jews who questioned and compared His ways to those of John the Baptist's and the Pharisees. The Jews then could not accept what seems for them are radical thoughts and unorthodox ways of teaching which were different than what they are accustomed to. Since the beginning of The Lord's ministry on earth, the unbelieving Jews did their best in trying to compare His teachings to that of the commandments of Moses and the prophets.
In this parable, The Lord Yeshua compares His teachings and approach to God's (Ten) Commandments to that of a NEW GARMENT and NEW WINE. A new garment should not be used to patch a tear from an old clothing, nor new wine be stored into old wineskins. Doing such would not be very effective as the unshrunk garment will only make a tear, in the same way that the new wine, as it still continues to ferment and expand, will burst the old wineskins and the wine be spilled. For the new wine to be enjoyed it has to be stored into new wineskins. The old garment and old wine very well represent the old paradigm on God's Commandments upheld by the Jews then. The wineskins represent the people who receive the new wine or non-judgmental teachings of The Christ. Even Paul, the New Testament writer, presented this correctly:
(2 Tim 2:20-21)
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
A WINESKIN is a VESSEL, and as Paul confirmed it, one can become a vessel for Christ’s honor to be sanctified and useful for Him. In the context of this parable, a new wineskin is a vessel of Christ's mindset and teachings. In order for one to benefit from the righteous and non-judgmental (impartial/fair) teachings of Christ, he must be renewed as a vessel or wineskin - he needs to be changed from having a judgmental (partial/unfair) outlook to having a non-judgmental outlook.
While this parable is applicable in every way to the Jews during Christ's ministry in Israel, it remains to be very applicable in our time as majority of the people who consider themselves 'Christians' or Christ followers picked up on the old paradigm and mix-match them with the outlook of Christ. The old paradigm is judgmental which is in contrast with that of The Savior. How can they be mixed?
Fact is, The Lord Yeshua wants us to be NEW WINESKINS in order for us to benefit from Him being the NEW WINE. What does He really mean by this parable?
40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.
Take note how The Savior wants us to become perfectly trained disciples so that we will end up being like Him. What is a disciple? A disciple is a follower - not just a believer, but a believer who follows. This is well proven when The Lord wants those who already believed in Him to abide in His words, or follow Him, for them to become His disciples (Jn. 8:31). How can we become NEW WINESKINS? BY becoming like The Savior. Do we have to suffer like He did? No, in fact, He clarified that He sent us to reap eternal life unto that which we haven't labored (Jn. 4:36-38). He simply wants for us to possess His non-judgmental mindset by abiding in His love. Here's how He explained this matter:
37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
39 And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. 41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
The Messiah is love. He is God's love unto man. The single reason He remained to be love and compassion despite being in the midst of sinners and imperfect people is the fact that He is NOT-JUDGMENTAL (Jn. 8:15/ Jn. 12:46-48). This is His mindset and this is the same mindset that He wants His disciples to become for this is the process that can make a disciple to become like Him (Lk. 6:40). When we possess the MINDSET of Christ we have become NEW WINESKINS WHO RECEIVE THE NEW WINE - we have become 'like The Teacher.' And the reward of becoming like Him is His solution for us to be saved from the judgment and condemnation. “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned." How much simpler can it be? We all need forgiveness, don't we? What is the only way to be forgiven? "Forgive, and you will be forgiven."
How can one be saved from judgment and condemnation when he does not judge nor condemn, but rather choose to abide in The Savior's love?
(1 John 4:16)
16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
By abiding in His love one abides in God and most importantly, God abides in him. This is the preservation and the biggest benefit that The Christ has mentioned in His parable when one becomes a NEW WINESKIN who possesses the NEW WINE - the non-judgmental outlook and love of Christ.