New Wine Will Burst Old Wineskins

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Jesus brought tension wherever he went. At every turn, His life confronted the Jewish culture. As we study the gospel of Mark, clearly at the start of his three-year ministry, he meekly exploded onto the scene which had been quiet for a long time. New Wine Jesus, Kathy Schwanke

Israel hadn’t had a prophet for 400 years. God had been silent as far as we know. And then John the Baptist comes as the forerunner of Christ. John is the last Old Testament prophet. His life represented the old way and he came “carrying the baton” to hand over to the long-awaited Savior.

Consider the desirability of the prophet’s life. His clothing was like burlap, he lived in barren places in the desert, and he ate locusts and wild honey. An isolated and, other than the honey, a deprived man. Willingly cut off from the finer things of life, the rich goodness of comfort, flavor, family, and friends. He was what we would consider poor, I imagine scruffy, and lonely.

John came baptizing, and when his mission was complete, he goes to prison because he called King Herod out on his sin.

Jesus then steps in to take up where John left off. John came preaching, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.” And Jesus, as he began his ministry after his 40 days in the wilderness, took up the message-bearing, preaching, “Repent and believe, for the Kingdom of Heaven is here.”

It was like a relay hand-off.

And everything began to transition.

And as we all know, transition is H.A.R.D.

The word transition might bring to mind labor and delivery if you are a mom. That time between feeling like any minute you might burst, and the time when the bursting-forth happens. For most of us, it is a twisting, writhing, ugly-painful time. Transition.

If you are not a mom, think of moving homes, neighborhoods, jobs or schools . . .

Such tension accompanied Jesus as he traversed earth during those three years. Until that glorious day when He burst forth from the grave into Eternal Life.

Jesus’ time on earth was laden with rhythmic contractions of painful tension. As in labor and delivery, there is a kind of joyful hope underlying the pain, because you anticipate what is ahead, but it is H.A.R.D.

Everywhere Jesus went, he faced opposers. Those trying to trick and trap him, and who wanted to kill him. Can you imagine? You and I may have a few who feel like enemies at times, but most of us really don’t know what having an enemy is- at least not an enemy consisting of a herd of powerful, influential people opposing you, hating you all together.

Transition is most often accompanied by pain and challenges.

Have you ever tried to change a tradition in your family?

In a magnanimous-gigantic way, that is what Jesus was doing in the three years of his ministry.

There were customs, rules, traditions, and protocol to strictly follow in Jewish culture. I think many had given up and just fallen away from their faith. The rules and regulations had grown to impossible-to-keep proportions. God’s laws had been “tweaked” by the elite. In vain conceit, laws were made more difficult for the common man in order to elevate the Pious.

So the Pious become offended each time Jesus breaks protocol. And he does it all. The. Time.

Anger increases as He continues to confront pride in the leaders. He proves them wrong in His rightness and in His questions that appeal to their logic.

Who can deny the Truth to His face?

Don’t you marvel at Jesus’ composure in the face of the hateful accusation?

A paralyzed man couldn’t get through the huge crowds swarming Jesus, so his friends brought him up onto the roof and cleared a hole in it to let him down. Instead of Jesus healing the man right away, he first said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Indicating that he was indeed God in the flesh. This caused a mighty stir in the religious people who accused him of blaspheming. Mark 2:7 Then Jesus proves His power by healing. What can they say to that?

Soon after, he goes to dinner with the sinners and tax collectors and he is accused there of being a heathen. Mark 2:16 He tells them He is a physician who came to heal those (who admit) that they are sick. In other words, the proud who couldn’t see their need for Him wouldn’t taste the benefit of His mercy and power . . .

When the Pharisees and Scribes discover that Jesus disciples don’t fast as they religiously do, {again accusing} Jesus replied with a parable:

 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” Mark 2:21-22

He brought in the new and better way of love, of mercy, of resting rather than striving, of depending rather than earning, and it made those who wanted to rely on their own merits increasingly angry. To the point of murder. {In His case though, the wine wasn’t lost, but He was spilled out for us all.}

He knew that it would happen. That it had to be that way. Isaiah says He set his face like a flint. (Isaiah 50:7)

And then, the glorious day when all hell was bent on destroying the Fruit of The Vine, and seemed to have succeeded. The curtain was torn in the temple. Matthew 27:51

Days later the stone was rolled away, Mark 16:4.

The old wineskin burst and it lost it’s power to condemn us. We are freed from the wrath of God (Revelation 14:10) when once we repent and believe the good news.  Mark 1:15

Now we {you and I, Believer in the Lord, Jesus Christ} are the fresh wineskins filled with the new wine. Acts 13:52

And it is delightful! Psalm 16:6

Jesus the new wine


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