The Gospel of Mark | New Wine | Mark 2.21-22 | 

by | Oct 31, 2023

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” Mark 2.21-22

Reading about patching garments and putting wine into wine skins is not something I have ever done. This is not apart of our modern tradition (although I specifically remember my mom patching jeans for me as a kid, I’ve never done it myself.) And I’m not much of a wine drinker, so….

I often turn to for a quick summary of a passage I am reading but need some additional insight. According to this website, “These two parables illustrate the fact that you can’t mix old religious rituals with new faith in Jesus. Jesus’ disciples were not fasting along with the Pharisees and John’s disciples because they were now under the new covenant of grace and faith in Christ. As mentioned earlier, Jesus fulfilled the law; therefore, there is no longer any need to continue with the old rituals. Jesus cannot be added to a works-based religion,”

What stands out to me about the parables is that Jesus is doing a new thing. He is no longer under the old rules. God never intended the Laws of Moses to become a means to an end in themselves. He meant for those Laws to point us to him and show our utter dependence upon his grace. Jesus created a new mold. He cleared a new way, made a new path.

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5.17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Being “in Christ” means we have been made new in him. We have a new heart, a new chance, a new lease on life. Once we submit to Jesus, surrendering our heart to him, we become this new creation. In the same way just as the new wine is put into new wine skins so the new person is put into a newly created version of himself or herself. The old person has left the building and the new person as come!

The good news is that through Christ, we have a new opportunity to begin again with God. We have a new relationship, forgiveness of sins and life everlasting. In Revelation 21.5, “He (Jesus) who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” It is Jesus through God’s Holy Spirit who makes all things new. What is meant by “all things,”? It’s not only a new perspective on life, it is a replacement of our old character, spirit and person with a new one. Jesus is the one who is doing a new thing!

And aren’t we glad? Aren’t we blessed that by his blood we are healed? Are we invigorated that our sins have been washed clean? We have no guilt, no shame, no sadness and no dismay for Christ is with us in this life and in the life to come.

So let’s cling to him! Submit to God, humble yourself to him and he will fill you up. By his grace and for his glory.

“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for loving me. I praise you for your love. Thank you for the cross and for new hope, joy and life. Thank you for second chances and for sealing within us eternal hope. I love you Lord. Come now, Holy Spirit and have your way with me. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen