Sunday, May 24, 2009

New wine in old wineskins

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 – Jesus.

In this verse Jesus explains how it is impossible to reform old institutions. In context this is often understood to explain how God had a new covenant that was no longer compatible with Judaism. Hence the old wineskin of Judaism was replaced with the new wineskin of Christianity.

However, this metaphor can be applied to more than religion. The “old wineskins” can represent any old institution that has changed and lost its way. These institutions can include churches, political parties and even nations. With true change we many times need to discard the old wineskins and start anew.

I believe we are at the point that the old institutions of this country can no longer be reformed. It is time for real change.


  1. "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken

  2. Jesus was refering to persons as wineskins. He explained that people who had been indoctrinated with the Pharisaic teachings, could not accept his doctrine. He needed new and pure people to carry his teachings. His Apostles were all simple men. They had the mentality of a child, and an open mind to new things.

    Jesus didn't come to cancel Moses's law, He came to complete it. In reality Judaism and Christianity aren't incompatible.

    As for the institutions. Nothing needs to be changed. All are fine. What needs to be changed is the people's hearts. These are corrupted.

  3. Another metaphor I heard from an oldtimer around 20 years ago was. "It's like putting a new dress on an old whore." He was refering to some ugly apartments he was living in which got a new coat of paint.-Norm

  4. Interesting video, Paul, and I am glad to see this kind of political commentary here.

    The case for a separate system is strong, as is the case for a separate party.

    I think Christos is right in that the institutions are fine if they were to be restored to what they should be. Separatism may be what is required to do that, but I am not wholly convinced of that yet.