Sometimes we long for something new.
Suffering in sadness of lost loved ones, or stuck in painful patterns in our relationships, slogging through work that seems to go nowhere, maybe what were once joyful rituals turned dry routine.
Jesus likens our predicament to the person longing for some new wine. There’s a problem though, and the problem is in us:
“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.” (Luke 5:37 NIV)
We get stuck in our old way of operating. We say, it is what it is, or that’s just the way I am. Some won’t let go of lust, some are constant complainers quick to tell everyone what’s wrong, some are impatient and controlling, some are bitter about what someone did years ago, and you replay the same justifications that keep you locked onto old hurts. I want other people to change, blame others when I feel bad, blame others when I don’t get what I want, pray God give me what I like and to change others, so I might like them more. I’ve done all those things. These are symptoms of old and crusty wineskins, of hearts grown hard.
What can we do, Jesus?
“No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.” (Luke 5:38 NIV)
New wine – the expression used by Jesus refers to single word in Hebrew used thirty-eight times in the Old Testament. It meant the blessing of God, fruitfulness, that the Lord of wind and weather would create conditions for the land to produce, and that He would also give stability and success to the continuing work of people to grow something for the future, something to be shared with children and grandchildren, enough so that all the community benefits and rejoices.
Jesus’ point? God wants to do that in you - in His people that worship Him and give their lives to Him, and who will look to Him not only in thanksgiving for everything He’s providing, but who look to Him to create a new future – by working in us to create the vessels to carry His Word and His Spirit.
If there’s going to be anything new, it must come from Him. And the change must start with us.