A few weeks ago, I was having my morning time with God and my Scripture reading that day was in the gospel of Luke.
Jesus then told them these sayings:
No one uses a new piece of cloth to patch old clothes. The patch would shrink and make the hole even bigger.
No one wants new wine after drinking old wine. They say,
“The old wine is better.” (Luke 5:36-39, CEV)Then the Holy Spirit began to speak to me, making me see some important truths in this passage.
Then the Holy Spirit began to speak to me, making me see some important truths in this passage.
First, God does not like to waste anything! In both stories (clothing and the wineskin), the evil to be avoided is the loss of old clothes and new fabric or the old wineskin and the new wine. God does not waste. He does not throw pearls before swine. (Matthew 7:6)
Therefore, and here we have our second important lesson, new wineskins must be provided BEFORE the new wine is poured. This is so obvious that it almost goes without saying. Almost! But we do need to hear it. God is telling us that if we provide the container, He will provide the content. Moreover, the container should be ready before the content is poured out. As with the widow, we must bring “empty vessels, not a few.” (2 Kings 4:3). Empty vessels determine the possibility of the miracle. The number of vessels determines the size of the miracle.
The first story–the old clothes and the new patch—helps us understand that God does not patch or improvise. He makes new things! But the second story shows that before God does His part (new wine), we must do ours (the new wineskin).
So, shall we provide new skins for God to pour out His new wine?
Here again, you would think this question does not even need to be asked… but it does! This is because, as Jesus anticipates, some people will not be interested in the new wine for thinking that the old wine is better. They forget that not all old wine is good. In fact, old wine can become vinegar. Furthermore, God’s second wine is always better than the first, as the guest at the wedding in Canaan found out (John 2:10). The glory of the second temple is greater than the first (Haggai 2: 9). God “… removes the first to establish the second.” (Heb.10: 9)
And by the way, what is this “new wine”? The phrase appears almost 40 times in the Bible and it is always a good thing (abundance, prosperity, joy, newness, etc.). But all of these references climax in Acts 2. The new wine is the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit! God wants to pour out His Holy Spirit upon us.
Will we come to Him as empty vessels?