Don’t Oppose The New
Read : Mark 2:21, 22
The end result of a life of religion is we become terrible people to be around. A Pharisee lives a hollow life. While successful on the outside, the heart is unloving and anxiety-ridden. They grow fearful when they don't get credit; cynical when feedback is negative; paranoid when threatened; worried when anxious; throw a fit when challenged; and distraught when defeated. Never able to be themselves, they spend all their time comparing and competing. There is no life in this old system; it cannot be repaired.
The saying about the garment and the wine describe trying to fix a broken system – using valuable new cloth to fix a tattered garment, or pouring fermenting new wine into worn out, damaged wineskins. The meaning is clear, if Jesus’ disciples continue to live like a Pharisee, they would be like people who put new cloth on an old garment, or pour the new wine of God’s Spirit into the old wineskin of religion. Jesus brings something totally new. The new disrupts the old and breaks the mold.
The life of Jesus brings a new beginning. When Christ fills the wineskin of our lives, His life stretches us to new limits. The unnecessary is pushed out while the Spirit fills every aspect of life. The old wineskins of the previous religious system give way to the new.
It's the natural things of our life that resist the newness of Jesus. Our previous experience, our level of growth, our intellect, customs, prejudices, the familiar, the comfortable, apart from Christ, tend to be old wineskins. The old wineskins are in opposition to the new. This the great battle of the disciple to surrender old garments and old wineskins, if not they will burst.
Take a few minutes and think through these questions:
Is your life like an old wineskin or a new flexible wineskin?
Have you experienced more religion than a relationship with Jesus?
If you are a believer, how would you characterize your life in Christ?
What's dominating your life – the new life of Christ or cold religiosity?
Dear Jesus, take my intellect, my customs, my ways, my comfort zones and renew me to hold your Spirit.