So the other day I asked about wineskins. Specifically what do they symbolize in Jesus' example in Matthew 9?
16"No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."
We discussed it a bit in the comment section of that post, but I wanted to share a couple of short things I read about wineskins.
First my Quest Bible notes:
"Wineskins were the bottles made of animal skins sewn in the shape of a flexible bag. At first they were soft and pliable, but with age they became brittle. Since wine gives off gases and expands as it undergoes the process of fermentation, a wineskin had to stretch to accommodate the expanding wine. Non-elastic, old skins would burst during fermentation."
And it continues:
"Jesus used this as a metaphor. Old wineskins represented the Jewish system, which was unable to accommodate the new wine of the kingdom of God." (pg. 1397)
I checked a New Testament commentary that we own and read this:
"The image of the wineskins teaches that [Jesus] gives spiritual fullness. Jewish religion was a worn-out wineskin that would burst if filled with the new wine of the Gospel. Jesus did not come to renovate Moses or even mix Law and grace. He came with new life!" (pg. 35)
About the garment mentioned in verse 16, the commentary reads:
"The illustration of the cloth reminds us that He came to bring spiritual wholeness; He did not come to 'patch us up' and then let us fall apart."
My preacher often compares the Holy Spirit to wine. He says the old wineskins represent people or churches who refuse to budge from tradition when the Spirit is leading them to do something different. He's talking about people who are so stuck in their own ways that they will not yield to the Spirit of God trying to work in their lives. People who hold tradition or their preferred methods above God. Let's face it, God doesn't always work in ways that seem sensible to us. His ways are higher than ours.
What do you think?
quotes from Quest Bible & The Bible Exposition Commentary Volume I - Warren Wiersbe