“Nor do men put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out, and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17, NASB)
Jesus went about preaching, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matthew 4:17). He kept telling one story after another, in parables, giving illustrations in various ways, in healings, travels, miracles, and teachings on what the Kingdom of God is all about. Jesus came preaching the gospel of the kingdom.
Jesus told Nicodemus, ‘You must be born again.’ (John 3:3). Here in Matthew, He tells John the Baptist’s disciples these illustrations of putting a new patch on new clothing and new wine in new wineskin. It is all a part of the revealing that we have to give up the old in order to receive the new. You cannot stay the person you are and say, ‘I “invite” Jesus into my heart,’ as some men have taught us to say, no, Jesus is the One who says, ‘Come unto Me.’ You have to become an entirely new creation, born again, as Jesus would say. The Holy Spirit knows when a man just wants a piece of His power, but is not willing to submit to Him as Lord.
It is the power of Christ that comes into the surrendered life and is born inside of him. He makes you new. You cannot do that yourself. It is the power of Christ to forgive sin, to heal, to make new, and to cause a person to become born again in His Spirit. If a man will lose his life for His sake, He will find the new life in Christ that He has promised. This is life in the Kingdom of God!
We have to leave our traditional mindsets of self, religion, and of conventional thought and get into Jesus’ gospel of the kingdom of God. Jesus said to ‘repent’, that is to completely turn from one direction and do a 180 degree ‘about face’ into Him. When we give up ourselves to Him, He miraculously makes us new in Him. He is birthed into our lives and the Holy Spirit comes in and lives within us.
The new wine cannot go into an old wineskin. The Holy Spirit cannot and will not come to a person who refuses to be made new in Him. The Holy Spirit is the change agent, not you, as you believe in Him, giving your life over to Him. You cannot ‘patch up’ an old life, it just doesn’t work anymore than religion works over a man who thinks he can work his way into heaven.
He is the new wine and the surrendered life is the wineskin. Abide in Him and He will abide in you in His power. Let Him have His way today!