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And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, 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. Luke 5:37-38 ESV

This metaphor that Jesus uses was easily understood in the days of Jesus’ ministry as He walked the earth, but to us modern day westerners it is a bit bizarre. One must understand that a wineskin was made of an animal skin, usually a goat hide, which was sewed up to hold the wine. Then they would put the freshly made wine into a new wineskin. The new wine would ferment and the gases from the fermentation process would cause the wineskin to expand and enlarge. The wine would be stored in this wineskin for a long period of time until it was ready to be served.

The reason Jesus said not to put new wine into old wineskins was because the old wineskin had already been stretched, expanded, and enlarged so that it was no longer flexible. If you were to put new wine into an old wineskin, the fermentation process would cause the old wineskin to break, crack, divide, or split and the new wine would spill out. New wine must have a new wineskin. In order to understand what Jesus was teaching us, we must look at the context in which He gave the metaphor. We can go back a few verses to find this key.

And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:29-32 KJV

The New Living Translation makes this clearer to us.

Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” Luke 5:31-32 NLT

The Pharisees were very upset when Jesus ate with sinners, publicans, and tax collectors. Matthew was having a party at his house, and he invited all his friends. This happened just after Matthew had made the choice to leave all and follow Jesus, so he was obviously excited and wanted his friends to meet Jesus. Jesus loved everybody, and it was His mission to seek out and save the lost, so He frequently associated with sinners. The Pharisees, with their elitist exclusivity and self-righteous thinking, saw this as appalling. Therefore, Jesus made the contrast between old and new wineskins.

Jesus came to fulfill the old covenant. In fact, He was the fulfillment of all the Jewish ceremonial law. The Jews made many blood sacrifices, but when Jesus came, John the Baptist said, “Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” He knew that Jesus was the final sacrifice and when He went to the cross there would be no more need for any more animal sacrifices.

When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear. Hebrews 8:13 NLT

There would be no more need for the temple because Jesus was the temple. There would be no more need for the Sabbath day because Jesus was the Sabbath, He is our rest. There would be no more need for the Levitical Priesthood, because Jesus is our High Priest, and so on. In fact, Jesus was bringing the Jewish religion to a complete halt, as He was fulfilling the old covenant, and ushering in the new covenant. Yet, very few Pharisees could see or accept this, because they never saw who Jesus really was.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:4-5

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. John 1:10-11

Look at this next verse closely.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12

Everyone who received Him and believed upon His name could become a son of God. We became a son of God by spiritual adoption. Once we are a son of God, this establishes a brand new identity for the new believer.

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:5 NLT

In another metaphor, Jesus gave us a brand-new spiritual birth.

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:4,5 NLT

When we repented of our sins and called upon the name of Jesus to save us, a miraculous spiritual experience happened to us as the Holy Spirit came into our spirit and brought a new person to birth. We received a new heart, a new man, a new name, or a new identity. This new identity is the new wineskin of which Jesus was speaking. This new identity is what Jesus died on the cross to give us. Thus, it is important for us, as believers, to see ourselves as God sees us instead of how the devil wants us to see ourselves.

The Pharisees could not buy into this new teaching from Jesus. Jesus and His teachings were a direct threat to their religious dogma, which was deeply ingrained in their innermost beings, or their belief system. They had believed this way all their lives, and they had no desire to change. They even witnessed many miracles that Jesus did, but still had no desire for the new wine.

And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, the old is good. Luke 5:39 ESV

The Pharisees thought that Jesus’ new covenant was in direct conflict and contradiction to their old Mosaic covenant. But they were gr eatly mistaken, because it was a fulfillment of the old, an introduction of something far superior to the old covenant. Now, instead of worshipping in the temple, the believer would be the temple of God. Now, instead of needing a priest, the new covenant believer would be a priest, and there was no longer a need for a mediator, because Jesus was the Mediator. Furthermore, there was no longer a need for a blood sacrifice from an animal, because on the cross, Jesus, the Lamb of God, was the final substitutionary sacrifice. Instead of the Ten Commandments written in stone, now the Holy Spirit would come to write the law of God in our hearts and minds.

The Pharisees’ dead religious thinking was old wineskins. If they lost their religion, they would lose their power and positions. They were so angry at the thought of this new covenant that they literally wanted to kill Jesus from the very beginning of His ministry. The more He taught and performed miracles, the madder and more furious their hearts were against Him.

How do we know if we are a new wineskin or an old wineskin? Let’s look at some of the traits of the Pharisees and see if this enlightens us.

  • The Pharisees were certain their dogma or doctrine was correct. They were so certain that it caused a great pride in their hearts, because they thought only their group had the truth.

  • They had many rituals or liturgies of how they prayed and worshipped, and thought their way was the only right way.

  • They were exclusive by wanting nothing to do with gentiles, sinners, publicans, Samaritans, or any other group that was not just like they were.

  • They had many rules and regulations that people thought they had to keep to be in good standing with God and with the leaders of the Pharisees. They were very legalistic, and tried desperately to keep the Mosaic Law to save themselves.

  • This produced a self-righteous and proud attitude that was based on works instead of based on grace.

  • They studied, prayed, and gave alms, but all with wrong motives, because they had the need for others to recognize their pious deeds.

  • They were focused on outward appearances instead of the inward condition of their hearts.

In summary, they were rigid, inflexible, and set in their ways, which was damaging, because their minds were full of deceitful ideologies that became the devil’s strongholds, making them old wineskins. Jesus could not possibly pour His Holy Spirit and Truth into them, nor could He flow out of them to others. The only way possible was for a new birth to take place, or for Jesus to create a brand-new man with a new heart and a new identity.

With this new identity the Christian is now a saint instead of a sinner. Yes, a saint that will still sin sometimes, but the Bible calls believers saints, and refers to lost people as sinners. With this new identity we are justified, made holy, and have been given imputed righteousness. We are now citizens of heaven and ambassadors of Christ. We are the children of God, sons and daughters of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. We are now a royal priesthood, a chosen nation, and God’s very own possessions. We are seated in heavenly places with Christ. We are now who God says we are and not who the world would label us, or who the devil will try to make us believe we are. Our new identity in Christ is our new wineskin.

Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. II Corinthians 5:17

What about our fallen inherited sinful nature, the body of sin and death? This is more good news of the Gospel; Jesus killed it off at the cross. The Bible says our old man is crucified with Jesus; we are now dead, and our life is hidden with Christ in God.

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:6

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

You may feel dead and experience sinful thinking, but it is important to reckon your old man dead unto sin, and your new man alive unto God. The Bible says that our old man is crucified with Him, but at the same time, I live, not I, but Christ lives in me.

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:11

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: Galatians 2:20

The great mystery of the new covenant is that Christ Himself comes to live in my heart, and He will live the life that only He can live, if I will but yield to His presence flowing into and out of my life. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in me, and I can now actually walk in newness of life, His life.

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

In effect, I am now saved by His resurrection life that lives in me. It is the simple principle of the exchanged life. I reckon my old man dead with Jesus at the cross. I go down in water baptism with Him where I am buried with Him, and I am raised up from the dead with Him. Now that I am dead, He can live His life through my new being, my new wineskin.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Romans 5:10

This resurrection life of Jesus Christ living in me and flowing out of me is the new wine of the new covenant. The Bible says to be filled with the Spirit. We don’t need natural wine to make us happy, because we have the Holy Spirit flowing in and out of us to others. The fruit of the Spirit creates this amazing love, joy, and peace that is supernatural, which is not dependent upon outward circumstances.

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Ephesians 5:18

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: Galatians 5:22-23

Since Jesus is the true vine, our job is to abide in Him and He in us. When we live our lives out of the new identity He gave us, while simultaneously allowing Him to live in us, we abide in Him and He in us. Just like a bunch of grapes firmly abiding in the grapevine, so we must learn to stay in Christ or live our lives hidden in Christ. As we live in Him, we live from our new identity and are the new wineskins.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.... If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:4-7

Revival is the resurrected life of Jesus Christ poured into the human heart and flowing out to others. Jesus is the new wine. Therefore the key to a victorious, Christian life is to continually allow the Holy Spirit and the Holy Word to fill our hearts and minds. We should hunger and thirst for more of Jesus each day. Drink of the new wine, the wine of the new covenant continually, and allow Jesus to be all He wants to be through our lives.

We are new wineskins for Jesus to flow out and through to others. We must know who we are in Christ, and never allow the devil to tell us otherwise. Sure, we still have a soul that is full of bad memories, thoughts and ideas and this soul will surely sin, but our carnal soul does not have to define who we are. When you sin, simply confess your sin, repent, or change your thinking, and ask God to help you not do it again. This issue with our souls will continue until we draw our last breath, so don’t beat yourself up over it. If you confess your sin, He (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive you of your sin, and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Our soul has a lifetime of bad thinking that needs to be sanctified, but this happens progressively as we live our lives, trusting in Jesus Christ. Just because I am not perfect is no reason for me to choose not to believe my Bible.

I am who God says I am, and I will see myself the way that God sees me. I will live out of the new identity that Jesus Christ died to give me. And as I learn to do this, I learn that I am a new wineskin, which God can fill with new wine. As He fills me with His Spirit and His Word, my life will be transformed, and I will experience the fruit of the Holy Spirit, love, joy, and peace of God flowing into my heart and mind and flowing out to others. That’s a life worth living.

Bill Hudson


SONG: Jesus Turned the Water into Wine

Jesus turned the water into wine.
He did this with you and me in mind.
He calmed the raging sea,
Made the blind to see.
Jesus turned the water into wine.

John spoke of His first miracle and sign,
Showing us, He was the one true vine
To take what’s blue and sad,
Make it happy and glad.
Jesus turned the water into wine.

Jesus turned the water into wine.
He lived and died to save lost mankind,
Gave His blood for you and me;
How He set the captives free.
Jesus turned the water into wine.


He was thinking of his hour on the cross.
He would become our sin at such great cost.
On a cross of Calvary
Paid the price for you and me.
Jesus turned the water into wine.

At the table where His blood was in the cup,
The old covenant was now swallowed up.
He shed His blood upon the cross
For we were so very lost.
Jesus turned the water into wine.

Jesus turned the water into wine.
He lived and died to save lost mankind,
Gave His blood for you and me;
How He set the captives free.
Jesus turned the water into wine.

He was thinking of His own wedding day,
For His bride with His own life He would pay.
When He would hold us as his bride,
We’ll eternally abide.
Jesus turned the water into wine.

New wine is only for new wineskins.
That is why we must be Born Again.
He gives us a brand-new heart
And a clean fresh new start.
Jesus turned the water into wine.


Jesus turned the water into wine.
He lived and died to save lost mankind,
Gave His blood for you and me;
How He set the captives free.
Jesus turned the water into wine.

Jonathon House and Bill Hudson Jr

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