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The Parable of 
New Wine in Old Wineskins

Matt 9:17; Mk 2:22; Lk 5:37-39

Luke 5:37,38  No one puts new wine into old wineskins, or else the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.  But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved. No man having drunk old wine immediately desires new, for he says, ‘The old is better.’" (web)

Discussion Questions

What are the new wine, old wine, new wineskins, old wineskins?
Why does new wine burst old skins?
What can you infer about the Christian message from this?
Who drank the old wine?
What was their reaction to the new?
If the old is better, why offer them new?


See also: The Parable of New Cloth on an Old Garment

The fermenting of new wine builds up pressure in its container which can burst old skins. You'll notice the effect if you open a corked wine bottle. Biblical Christianity has a great deal of power and activity associated with it. It explodes out of the boundaries of Israel and continues to cross all kinds of boundaries. It cannot be contained. Neither can its practice be limited to a set of commandments. The Holy Spirit ferments the believer, helping him to infer applications from the Bible that apply to his particular situation. And having been fermented, believers are sometimes literally mistaken for drunkards.

"These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning!" Acts 2:15
The old covenant had finished fermenting. Not only that, but Israel had drunken it down and now all that was left was an old wineskin it had been contained in. Yes, it was good wine, having been aged. But its time was over. Its effect was completed and the fulness of the times had come for the new wine of the new covenant.
"So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law." Gal 3:24,25

"But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons." Gal 4:4,5

But then the most reluctant people to accept the new wine were those Jewish religious leaders, drunk on the old wine. So drunk that they kill their own Messiah. They considered the old wine better. But the Gentiles accepted the new wine.


If in old skins you put new wine
Not what is aged, but straight from the vine
The skins will burst and the wine run out
That is, if you keep the cork in the snout.
New wine must be put into new skins
To store the wine as fermenting begins
And no one after drinking the old 
Says the new is better, so I'm told
Thus the Jews rejected God's grace
For an empty old skin in its place.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

Jan 29,2022