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Parable Of The New vs Old

Updated: Apr 15

This is the first parable that is recorded in the Gospel of Luke. It is found in chapter 5. There have been several sermons and numerous commentaries written on this passage. As I continued meditating and asking that God opens my mind to understand this passage (Luke 24:45), the Spirit of God helped me see something unique in this passage. I found this quite appropriate as we witness recent events in the world around us, and in Israel in particular.

He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’” Luke 5:36-39 ESV


Scripture is very clear that when we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, something unbelievable happens. We become something totally different and new. This is what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth in his second letter;


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV


I think all of us want to become something else, something new. However, there is "stuff" that has become so much a part of us that we cannot fathom the concept that those things will no longer be a part of us. This can include things deeply ingrained in us like anger, prejudice, hatred, depression, anxiety, and all forms of sexual immorality. It will challenge our very concept of cultural, national, and racial identity (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Philippians 3:21; Revelation 5:9).

The new garment is ruined and the old garment is unappealing. Having the new wine of God's Spirit dwelling in someone who wants to continue their life unchanged, it will be of no value to that individual. That person is not saved. We must be willing to abandon everything for what Christ has to offer us.


"If grace has not changed you, grace has not saved you". - A.W. Tozer


In Galatians 5, Paul the apostle makes it clear that there are practices that, if we hang on to them, eternity with God and Jesus will not be NOT our future.


Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 ESV (emphasis mine)


And finally, in Luke 5:39, Luke gives us a glimpse of this new creation that we are becoming. When the new wine becomes the old and better wine, it is more attractive and more useful than what it used to be (Luke 10:34). You will find that more people want to be around you. Not because of what you have, but because of the person that you have become.

Again, Paul shares what that experience was like for him. In Galatians 1:23-24, he writes;


They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.


Think about that for a bit. Those churches had not even met Paul but were already giving glory to God because of what they had heard what God had done in Paul's heart and life. Having a life that has been changed, without compromise, is leaving a legacy for those who follow.


A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1 ESV‬‬


So, let us embrace the new creation that we are becoming without compromising. In fact, all of the work is done for us by the work of Christ on the cross. Our part is to live lives with radical obedience which is not easy (Matt 7:14; Luke 13:23-24). Just remember that the Spirit of God will do for you what you cannot do on your own. However, he will not do for you what he has told you to do (Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46).


If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about this "new creation", please feel free to contact us. We would like to assist you any way we can.

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