Have you ever read a scripture in God’s sacred word only later to learn that you completely misunderstood what it meant? Even worse, when someone would preach from that specific text it would irritate you. There was one verse in particular that annoyed me and made me feel uncomfortable, uneasy, and if I’m honest, made me feel like yesterday’s leftovers. In general, I’m not that kind of person. I love God’s word and above all I love the Lord, so there have been very few times where His Word would cause me to stiffen my neck and resist Him.
Whenever I have heard the verse: “New wine calls for new wineskins” in Mark 2:22b, I felt it pitted the old against the young. I used to love this scripture back when I was the new kid on the block, but now that I’m not so young I had come to resent it. It made me feel pushed out, useless and disposable. While my ear heard the words of the scripture, my heart heard, “out with the old and in with the new.” It was as though older saints had an expiration date, and the Holy Spirit couldn’t ﬁll believers that have been around the block a time or two. I began to ask if the “new wine” was reserved for the young? Was it only reserved for those who wear skinny jeans?
I knew God absolutely used older people. Look at Abraham and Sara for example. Abraham was seventy-five years old when God first revealed Himself to Abram. Then at the age of one hundred, his ninety-year-old wife, Sara gave birth to their son. Abraham lived to one hundred and twenty years old. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, was eighty-eight years old when she gave birth to him. Moses was eighty years old when he saw the burning bush, a monumental moment which catapulted him into his destiny. And then there’s Enoch. He lived to be 365 years old and Methuselah lived for 939 years.
After four decades of misunderstanding this scripture in Mark 2:22, I finally decided to do a study on it, and as the Holy Spirit would see fit, I saw this verse in a totally different light. To my surprise it has absolutely nothing to do with age. It has nothing to do with culture either. It’s not old vs. young, but rather it’s fresh vs. stale. In the English Standard Version it reads, “new wine is for fresh wineskins” (ESV). Let’s put this in context.
When Jesus said these words he was speaking to the religious people of the day who were stuck in a religious rut. These religious people couldn’t accept any kind of change or shift in the way the winds of heaven were blowing. Do you know that it’s the wind that is responsible for the change of seasons? People think it’s the sun, but it’s the wind, or what meteorologists refer to as the jet stream, that causes a change in temperature. We also know that a change in seasons means a change in clothes. The clothes that keep you warm and protected in January will suffocate you in June. Figuratively speaking, the religious people need a change of clothes because it was a new season. The Messiah had come, the one they claimed to be waiting for, but they didn’t recognize Him. They were suffocating in their orthodoxy and remained clueless. They not only didn’t recognize Him, they fought against everything Jesus was doing. They were stale, stiff, and stuck. Much like I was when I came across the wineskin verse.
Then Jesus comes and shakes everything up, turning their programs upside down and makes a huge adjustment in what was known as ministry. He places people at the center and ministers to them according to their needs. This made them feel uncomfortable and revealed their lifeless Sabbath rituals. Jesus comes along and moves heaven’s business onto the streets.
The word “new” as in “new wine” is the Greek word neos, which means “brand new.”
- Brand New Outpourings
- Brand New Infillings
- Brand New Empowerment
- Brand New Season of Anointing
- Brand New Holy Spirit Intoxications
The apostle Paul says in Ephesians 5:18, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled (or be filled up or continually ﬁlled) with the Spirit” (NIV, paraphrased). This is a command, not a suggestion. Yet it implies we have a choice. Just like someone who is intoxicated on alcohol, so we, when filled up with a brand new outpouring from heaven, will walk, talk, and see things differently. When we are filled we will receive brand new revelations, brand new direction, and brand new unction. This new wine comes only from heaven and it’s heaven’s potion to replenish our strength. There’s no substitute for the new wine. No man made elixir will do; it cannot be duplicated. No program can replace the new wine. We as believers need to be continually filled up because life depletes our strength. Just like a car runs out of gas and has to be filled back up, so we run low needing fresh, brand new infillings to give us vision and purpose.
Maria Durso shares her testimony of abuse, addiction, and redemption this Monday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from Ageless: The Secret To The Spiritual Fountain Of Youth by Maria Durso. Copyright ©2019 by Maria Durso. Used by permission.