The Old Wine is Better! Luke 5:33-39

“And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is better” (Luke 5:39, NIV84).  A lot of times this passage is taught out of its context. Once you are able to read this passage in the context of what Jesus was saying it takes a new meaning. I have heard so many times that we need to become new wineskins to receive the new wine, but this is not what Jesus was talking about. He was being confronted by some of the religious leaders that were demanding that his disciples would follow the traditions of the elders, and the new fasts established by them.

“The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.) The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. ‘But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (Mark 7:1–7)

To bring revival, the religious leaders were trying new practices and new fasts, but Jesus was trying to bring revival by leading people back to the teaching of the Scriptures. He was comparing the Scriptures to the Old Wine, and the new practices along with the traditions of the elders to the new wine.

“And they said to Him, “The disciples of John often fast and offer prayers, the disciples of the Pharisees also do the same, but Yours eat and drink.” And Jesus said to them, “You cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? “But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” And He was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. “But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. “And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough ”” (Luke 5:33–39).

Jesus was not trying to get people to accept the new wine, he said, “And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new.” The Old Wine is Better. The new wine is people’s traditions and religious practices that have no foundation in the Scriptures.

“Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” (Ephesians 4:14, NLT)