To follow Jesus means surrendering the old lives we’ve been living—with all our old belief systems and all our flawed thinking. Because Jesus wants our whole hearts, not just a small part of them. He wants His healing and goodness and love to penetrate and saturate our entire beings and every part of our lives—not just those portions we think we’re comfortable with.
Taking us a level deeper, Graham Cooke narrowed in on the Greek word Jesus used to describe the old wineskin in the parable. Cooke wrote: “You can’t tell in the English, but Jesus is making a point with a play on words. He doesn’t use the traditional word for old, which is palai. Palai means ‘antique.’ Sort of like ‘vintage.’ It’s a good kind of old. Instead, he uses the word palaios, which implies that something is useless and worn out.”
Jesus is offering you new wine. He is offering you new life, much better than your existing life. But you can’t accept it with old wineskin. If we try to hold onto old sins, old idols, old habits, old, worn out ways of thinking, while trying to add in the teaching of Jesus—the stuff that feels comfortable and convenient to us; the stuff that we think might work into our existing lives—something is going to break. The truth and grace of Jesus are just too powerful. And our old ways are useless and worn out. They simply cannot contain the glory and power of Jesus. Our old wineskins are going to burst.
So, says Cooke, the “only question is, how long are you going to keep trying to hold onto the old?”
Listen to “Scrap the Old Ways of Living.”