And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles (Mark 2:22, KJV)
The disciples of John and the Pharisees brought up a complaint to Jesus one day about His disciples. What was their concern? Well, while their masters were making them fast, Jesus’ disciples were having a blast, eating and feasting with Him. They were upset and offended. Jesus spoke the parable in Mark 2 above in response to their concern. He said new wine should not be put in old bottles but in new ones. What does this mean?
When wine undergoes fermentation, it expands. Old wine has already undergone fermentation and so it is no longer expected to expand. On the contrary, new wine still has to undergo fermentation, so there should be room for expansion. Similarly, old bottles are rigid and cannot expand while new bottles are pliable and can expand. So if you put new wine that will expand in old bottles that cannot expand, the new wine will break the bottles. So new wine must be put in new bottles. What does this have to do with you and me? What do the wine and bottle represent?
Think about the context of the parable to better understand what Jesus is saying. The wine represents the SYSTEM or ORDER they were operating in. The bottle represents their PRACTICES or ways of doing things. Every system has its way of doing things. Jesus brought a new system or order of relating with God, and the old practice or way of doing things could not accommodate the new system. The practices of the Law could not contain the system or order of grace Jesus brought.
The same is true about our lives today. The old way of doing things can not contain new levels in your life. New wine requires new bottles.
Is God giving you new wine in any area of your life now? What are the old bottles of your life that will not contain the new wine?
APPLY THE WORD
The applications of the truth above are endless, from salvation to our everyday lives. The key truth is this: a new level with God will require a new way of thinking or doing things. The practices of the law cannot contain the life of the Spirit in grace. Do not try to do things the same way when God has changed your level spiritually.
Ask the Lord to help you put new wine in new bottles in your life.