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 2:22
So much of what we read in Scripture is what my grandpa called common horse sense. Aren’t we thankful for that? What if God’s Word was completely over our heads? Wouldn’t that be fun during devotion time? I’m glad that I don’t have to consult with Franklin Graham about every portion of Scripture I read, aren’t you?
I’m the first to admit my knowledge of wine is limited… that is to say, you could fill a thimble with what I know about it. I know there are red ones and white ones, and I think I know that red is for pasta and red meat, and white is for fish. I think I know that – don’t quote me.
Back in Bible times, wine was what they drank – I always heard it’s because the water was not fit to drink. We’ll go with that. I just don’t drink because – well – for one thing, those drinks at restaurants are expensive – it’s frankly not a huge religious rule with me – more of a financial one. Water is more healthy and it’s free. There ya go.
Why is it important for us to know about new wine and new wineskins?
The new wine represents the spiritual freedom of the gospel of Jesus Christ – with its fermenting energy and new life that has the power to truly transform a heart and life. The old wine represents the old ways – the old ceremonies and rules of the Law. This was a time when the old legal ceremonial ways were about to pass away. It would prove fatal to try to weave the old with the new – or to put new wine into old wineskins.
In addition… the new wine also represents a brand new baby Christian – filled with zeal and excitement about the new life they’ve been given by our LORD. They are so driven with a desire to please the LORD… and sadly, the older wine in the church is all too happy to dump every JOB that has to be done in the church – on their heads. Are they ready for it? Um… NO! Why do we do that?
New converts MUST be treated with gentleness and consideration. We need to stop misinterpreting their eagerness and willingness to jump in and work for a sudden qualification to do so. They’re not ready for the tasks that we “old wine peeps” have taken on for ions of time. The fastest way to burn out a brand new baby Christian is to throw them into a bunch of jobs all at once.
I love the idea of new Christian classes. I’ve not been to one, but I know they are very effective. By the time folks are finished with that, they are usually ready to do one thing – not a whole list of stuff – just one thing – and do it well. And just as it should be – they will progress to more things as God opens the door. I’ve seen great new ministries begin that way.
I know the old saying – and it’s true… 10% of the people do 90% of the work. I get it… I really do. But let’s think before we load a new Christian – or even a new member – down with a list of jobs. May we pray that God will impress on us what ministries He wants for us to be a part of.
At twelve years old – after I was saved and baptized in the church, I was immediately given a Sunday School class to teach, asked to be church pianist, and play piano for the choir and for the youth group. It’s not a complaint, for all of this prepared me for the work and ministries I’d be involved with later. It’s more of a reflection about how we’re all quick to share the workload… and I suppose they shared it with me because I grew up in the church. But seriously… we need to be careful with the brand new baby Christians.
They drink milk… they have to ease into red meat. 🙂