My Favorite Parable...

One of my favorite parables that Jesus told in the Bible is the one from the book of Luke about wine. In this parable Jesus is talking with his disciples about new wine versus old wine.

37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’
— Luke 5:37-39 (NIV)

What I love about this parable is the reminder that Jesus is always doing a new thing! ( Isaiah 43:19, Rev 21:5). That is what the “new wine” represents in this parable. In fact, when He was sharing this parable with His disciples, He was explaining to them that His way and His message was very radical and controversial for many people. Especially for the Pharisees watching and observing His ministry. They were accustomed to their beliefs and practices of the Law-the “old wine”, and particularly their interpretation of the commandments and the coming Messiah.

The Pharisees were so focused on following rules and rituals that they forgot the reason those laws were written in the first place- to show us that we cannot keep all the rules and laws on our own in order to have a relationship with God. We needed a Savior. And even more heartbreaking is the answer was standing right in front of them! But they could not see Jesus for who He really was because they didn’t like the way He came or how He was ministering. For instance, if you back up a few verses in Luke to chapter 5 verses 29-30, you will see a perfect example of their criticism and disapproval of His ministry.

29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
— Luke 5:29-30 (NIV)

Sometimes, we can get comfortable in our relationship with the Lord and the way that He “usually” does things or moves in our midst. But when we allow that to happen, we do not even realize or accept the new things the Lord wants to do. I don’t want to miss out on what Jesus wants to do around me or through me because it doesn’t line up with my idea of how things should look or be done.

I don’t know about you friend, but I want to be that vessel, that new wine skin that He can pour freely into. I want to be so overflowing with the goodness and love of Jesus that the “sick and broken” are irresistibly drawn to their Father God. So fill us up, Holy Spirit! And come and have your way in us and through us, Lord Jesus, that You may be glorified!

- Karla Swanigan

24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
— Acts 11:24 (NIV)