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New Wine

Greg and Susan Williams
Greg and Susan Williams

Dear GCI Family and Friends,

As Jesus was sharing the good news about the kingdom of God with his disciples, he shared the following:

He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’” (Luke 5:36-39 NIV)

What Jesus was saying is simple: you can’t take the arrival of Jesus and his kingdom and simply put it on top of the Jewish Pharisaic system and traditions. It won’t fit.

Something new was happening. There was a new covenant. The old covenant paved the way with sacrificial and ceremonial laws constantly pointing toward the need for a Messiah/Savior. And when Jesus the Messiah/Savior came, he referenced the old, and he accomplished what the symbols can only point toward

His classic teaching is the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus didn’t abolish the law, he said he was the fulfillment of the law. (He alone was perfect and without sin.) He reminded the audience of what they were told in the past under Moses, and that now he was moving beyond the letter of the law to the spirit of the law. The new covenant and law of love that Jesus was bringing couldn’t be absorbed totally by the old. There had to be a new and better agreement – hence the idea of new wine.

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5 thoughts on “New Wine”

  1. There are clear passages indicating that ‘the forgiveness of sins’ is unique to the New Covenant (“remember their sins no more”; Jer 31:34)… Kuyper seems to confirm this conclusion. He argued that the energies of the Spirit at Pentecost worked retroactively in the lives of OT saints.-MICHAEL HORTON REDISCOVERING THE HOLY SPIRIT, P152FF

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