January 2: New Wine

January 2: New Wine

Picture of Chris Rowekamp

Chris Rowekamp

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”
—Mark 2:22 ESV


The disciples of John and the Pharisees asked Jesus why his disciples didn’t fast as they did. In other words, they asked him, “Why don’t your disciples do things the way they’ve always been done?”

Jesus replied that if you want new wine (the new thing that God is doing), you have to be like a new wineskin.

What did he mean by that?

Here’s my take:

The main difference between a new and old wineskin is that the old one has already been stretched out through the fermentation process and has become brittle and inflexible. Put new wine in it and it’ll burst. But the new wineskin is flexible enough to receive new wine.

We tend to think we know the way things ought to be done. And God’s plans often don’t fit into our vision of how things should go.

If we want God to do a new thing we need to be flexible like a new wineskin: willing to let him do it in his way.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, facing trial and death, Jesus gave us the best example of this. He begged his Father to spare him the suffering of the Cross, but despite his preference he chose to declare, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Lk. 22:42 ESV).

May we learn to be like “new wineskins,” willing to submit our plans and opinions to the will of our Father.

Here is a simple prayer to carry with you today:

Breathe in: Not my will,
Breathe out: But yours be done.

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