New Wine in New Wineskins

Read Luke 5:33-39

Focal Verse

"And no one pours new wine into old wineskins"

Luke 5:37

Bible Study

The religious Jews in that time used to fast twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays from 6.00am to 6.00pm. The whole scope of fasting was to express concretely their desire to get closer to God. Of course, if there was a wedding feast, which could take up to a whole week of joyful celebration, there would be no fasting. The disciples were enjoying a wedding feast with Jesus because the ‘bridegroom’, God Himself, was with them. Because of this they didn’t need to fast - and so some of the Jews saw this as shameful.

Key Word: "wineskins"

Jesus wanted to share  the 'new wine' of the Good News with all His people.  But some of His hearers were so caught up in legalism and mere external and rigid religiosity that they weren’t free to believe and open themselves to this gift of God's life.  They were like old and dry wineskins which couldn’t expand when new wine which, when fermenting emitted gases, was poured into them. In the same way today, when some people who have been Catholics or Christians all their lives are challenged to live a genuine spiritual life (the new wine) they reject it, preferring to go through the motions of religious and habitual ritual (old wineskins)  than really encountering Jesus and changing their ways.


Lord, let me always see that prayer, fasting and good works are expressions of faith and love for You, rather than lifeless and self-righteous ends  in themselves. I pray also that my pilgrimage to Israel will not be an end in itself but a means to draw closer to You.

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