I love how Jesus uses word pictures. He almost always shares the kingdom through comparison or stories. One of His stories kind of bothered me for years. It’s the one about the new wine and the old wine and the leather bags. Luke 5:37-39 says, “No one ever pours new wine into old leather bags. Otherwise, the new wine will break the bags, the wine will spill out, and the leather bags will be ruined. New wine must be put into new leather bags. No one after drinking old wine wants new wine, because he says, ‘The old wine is better.’”
I kind of got it – like if we are going to move forward and do new things we may need to consider new ways and new containers for the new things, but it always bothered me that the new things were compared to new wine.
If Jesus was trying to get us to move with the Spirit into new things I didn’t understand why He would compare the good and desirable new things to new wine if everyone knows that old wine is better. One day it hit me. If Jesus is making the wine, then the new wine is the best ever! Sound familiar?
When Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding of Cana, here’s what the steward said about this wine. “People always serve the best wine first. Later, after the guests have been drinking awhile, they serve the cheaper wine. But you have saved the best wine till now.” (John 2 :10) You can’t get wine that is any newer than that.
When Jesus gets involved almost everything gets flipped around – the last become first, the servants are the greatest of all and the new wine is better than the old!
I wonder how often we fight His new plans in our lives or our churches. We drown out the Holy Spirit’s leading with our own fear or reasoning; we honor the old wine in the name of logic, or tradition and miss out on new things He has for us.
Maybe the new wine is better than the old!
What new things is God doing in you or your church?