New Wine

Mark 2:22 And no man puts new wine into old bottles… but new wine must be put into new bottles.

Jesus used this illustration to answer the accusations of those who were watching for any departure from the normal behavior expected of all devout Jews.

This seems to be a key subject in this chapter. It began with some scribes raising an objection about Jesus forgiving sins. Then some of these self appointed judges didn’t like the company Jesus’ kept. Next they didn’t like their eating habits. Then they had a problem with Jesus allowing his disciple to break their Sabbath laws. Sadly… there is no shortage of these calloused critics in today's world.

It is clear that the metaphor of old wine and old bottles was intended to illustrate the Jewish traditions and their religious context. These traditions had grown over the centuries, tightly weaving themselves into Jewish religion… this was not God’s doing, but it had become a religious reality.

Jesus refused to be forced into their religious box… in fact He could not do His work and adhere to the teachings and cultural contexts which had created this corrupt religious system. So He placed His new wine (teachings) into a new bottle (His church). He is Lord of both His Word and His Church, and His servants must commit to that reality.

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