I've been reading through the gospels this year and more recently the Gospel of Luke. I've been learning so much as I've been studying about the life of Jesus. Several weeks ago I read something Jesus said that has confounded me for years.
Luke 5:36 He told them this parable: "No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old.  And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.  No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.  And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, `The old is better.' "
I've heard people talk about this referring to new paradigms. Ok. But I really wanted to understand this parable. So I ask my Teacher to teach me. And Oh boy! The Holy Spirit opened my mind to understand this scripture, and spoke to me very personally. I'd like to share what He revealed to me.
So Jesus gives two examples, to make a point. First He uses clothes. When your clothes or old, what do you do? First, consider the culture in which Jesus lived. The common person only owned one item of clothing--maybe two.. Believe it or not, many people around the world live like this. Anyway, when clothes became worn, one would patch the holes, until it couldn't be patched anymore or until they were able to get a new garment. Why would a person damage a new garment, to patch an old garment? If you have access to a new garment, you would replace the old garment with the new garment, not patch up the old. If a person were to patch up the old garment with the new cloth, the patch would be ineffective. The new cloth would pull away from old cloth, and end up becoming an unwearable garment. And guess what? The new garment is ruined too! The result: No wearable garments.
We end up naked!!!!
Jesus uses wine and wineskin to illustrate the same point. When a person was out of wine, they would need to make more wine. If a person was to put new wine in an old wineskin, the wine would burst through the wineskin, leaving the person with no wine. So instead of having wine, and a wineskin, they end up with nothing.
They end up thirsty!
So why would anyone do such absurd things?
Jesus answers that in His last statement. "And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, `The old is better.' "
No one wants "the new", because...
- The old is familiar
- The old is safe
- We think the good of the old will stay good
When we hold on too long to the old, being UNWILLING to change, we end up losing everything. The good of the old is gone, and we don't experience the good of "the new" either. We find ourselves in need of change, but instead of changing we want to patch our lives. You know, just fix the things in our lives that don't work.
When "the new" presents itsself, take hold of the new. Stop trying to make the new, fit into the old.
I'll be honest here. The Holy Spirit is convicting me of this BIG TIME! I've been praying that the Lord would change some things in my life, and I've been praying for a patch job. God wants to give me a new garment. Something I've never seen. Something I'm not familiar with. Something-- better. Don't get me wrong. The old garment wasn't bad. It was good for a season, but now it's outdated and no longer provides the best for our family. It's time to let go, before I lose all that I'm trying hold on to.
Just as the old garment was good, I can trust that the new garment is good too.
Just as the old wine was good, the new wine will be just as good--maybe even better.
Are you in need of a big change in your life?
What are you refusing to let go of?
What are you asking God to patch in your life? Are you asking Him to fix the things you don't like, so you don't have to really change?
Can you trust our Loving, and completely wise Heavenly Father to give you that which best for you?
Will you give Him permission to change anything He wants to change? Anything.
He wants to replace your old and worn garments with a fresh new garment. He wants you fully clothed, not naked. He wants to replace your old and empty wineskins with new wineskins full of wine. He wants you satisfied, not thirsty.
Let's encourage each other on this journey.
Let me know what big change you've been praying for, and how God surprised you (or is surprising you) with the most amazing blessings as you walked out into the unknown of "the new".