New Year, New Wineskins

Mark 2:22 (ESV)
“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.”

As we look forward to a new year and the hope it brings, often strive to meet new resolutions we set up for ourselves, whether they are internally for us or externally in how we interact with others. The reality is, that for most of us, we will end up disappointed in one way or another.

We have misplaced our hope.

We all want to do better—to be a better spouse, parent, brother, sister, or friend—but inevitably we are destined for some degree of disillusionment because we are all flawed human beings and out of imperfection perfection cannot arise.

In this verse of Scripture, Jesus is reminding those who hold fast to Jewish traditions that His message—His ministry—will not be compatible with their extrabiblical traditions, nor will it be contained by Mosaic Law.

It was indeed a message of hope, of salvation, of an opportunity to become a new creation, something that simply cannot fit into the present legalistic lifestyle. Jesus was not merely wanting to mend our broken hearts—He wants to transform them completely (c.f. Ezekiel 36:26; Psalm 51:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17). When we look ahead to Paul’s writings, we see this exact same theme reoccurring throughout the NT.

As we stand on the dawn of a new year, is Jesus compatible with your lifestyle? Are you trying to fit His teachings into your choices and make them conform to your self-interests?

Too often we try to justify or rationalize the sin in our lives. Worse, we simply try to downplay or even ignore passages of Scripture that go against the choices we make on an everyday basis, believing them to be outdated or only relevant to a small group of people thousands of years ago and are no longer applicable today. But this thinking will lead to destruction.

Resolve today to make 2019 a year of increased accountability to God, to become convicted by His unchanging Word towards the sin in your life. Resolve to remove the idols that stand between you and Him and allow Him preeminence in your heart each and every day.

Resolve to be compatible with the New Wineskin.