Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.'” Luke 5:36-39 NKJV
No one puts a new piece of material on an old garment:
Jesus told the disciples: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old.”
He was speaking of the New Covenant compared to the Old and to our new life in Him compared to religious tradition and our own efforts. Isaiah 64:6a NKJV says: “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” When it comes to garments, the material tends to shrink when it is washed, especially when it is new. An older garment has done most of its shrinking, but a new piece of material will still shrink further. When this happens, it will tear away from the garment it has been sown onto.
Christianity is not just another religion – it is a new life! We have a brand new covenant, based on better promises. You can’t put a new religious patch on an old religion. Jesus did not come to “patch up our religion, nor us” or to patch up the Law – He came to give each of us a brand-new garment – a robe of righteousness. You can’t fix the sin problem by fixing behavior – you can’t fix it from the outside in, with rules, but only from the inside out, by the Spirit of God. Only God can fix the sin problem, and He does it by changing the heart. When you believe the Gospel and you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are born again and you become a new creation – your spirit is made brand new! You don’t have a new religion – you have a new life.
No one puts new wine into old wineskins:
Jesus said: “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
Jesus is speaking here about new wine that has been freshly squeezed. New Wine is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. You can’t put new wine into an old wineskin, because an old wineskin is rigid and unyielding. When the gases of the wine in it expand, it will not stretch, but burst. New wine must be put into a new wineskin that is soft and flexible, so that they can expand together. God puts His Holy Spirit into the heart that has been made brand new by the blood of Jesus.
Even an old wineskin can be pressed into service again if it is first soaked in water and then has oil thoroughly rubbed into it, to make it soft and flexible again. Water is symbolic of the Word of God and Oil is another symbol for the Holy Spirit. Where religion makes us hard and inflexible, liable to burst and tear, God’s Word and His Holy Spirit make us soft, humble and yielded, if they are allowed to do their work on our “wineskin”. If we want God to be able to use us then we must continually soak ourselves in the Word of God and allow it to soak into us. We must allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us to keep us fresh and full of His wonderful new wine.
Old wine versus new wine:
Jesus said: “And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” John 2:1-10 NKJV
The first miracle that Jesus did was to turn water into wine at the wedding feast. The master of the feast declared that this new wine was the best tasting wine at the celebration. When people drink too much of the “old wine” of religion, they are not thirsty for the new wine of the Spirit of God. Jesus came to give us His delicious new wine. Once we taste it, we will never want the old again!