Let’s read Luke 5:36-39, “And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.”

A new dispensation was on the horizon. The dispensation of Law was about to give way to the ‘Day of Grace’. Law and grace do not mix, so they cannot exist together. To illustrate this, the Lord gives three examples, beginning with the illustration of the new garment.

Verse 36 – To add a piece of new and strong garment to patch up an old and deteriorating garment is not feasible. The garments, being of different age and wear, do not match and will not make a good bond. It is a waste of the new garment to try to patch up the old garment. This shows us how that law (the old garment) and grace (the new garment) are not made to co-exist.

Verses 37-38 – To put new wine into old bottles will only cause disaster. The Greek word for ‘bottles’ is “askos” and means ‘a leathern (or skin) bag used as a bottle’. Most versions of the Bible translate this word as ‘wineskins’.   In the fermentation process, new wine will expand as it ferments. The old wineskins became brittle and frail, and would not expand. In this case, the new wine represents the teachings of the Lord Jesus with all its freshness and power. The old wineskins represent the Law, which was correct in its time, but had now grown old and could not exist with the day of grace. Concerning that, we read in Hebrews 8:13, “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”

Verse 39 – Both Matthew and Luke include this teaching in their writings, but only Luke includes this part concerning those who preferred the old wine. It speaks of the reluctance of people to ‘let go of the old’ so that they may ‘grab onto the new’. Perhaps Luke was writing this to remind others to be patient with these people who found it hard to let go of the old dispensation, the old covenant. To them, they were happy with the ‘old wine’ of the Law. It was what they were comfortable with and what they were used to. After all, to walk in obedience to the Law and follow all the rites and practices of the Law was scriptural. However, the Lord was ushering in a new dispensation and new covenant, and it was time to let go of the old. I’m reminded of the first miracle the Lord Jesus did when he changed water to wine at the wedding of a friend. After all the old wine had been drunk, the Lord offered ‘new wine’ to the guests. We read in John 2:9-10, “When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” The people discovered that the new wine was better than the old wine.

The old dispensation (age) has passed. We learn in Romans 6:14 that, “ye are not under the law, but under grace.” The Law was written for the Lord’s earthly people, the Jews. After the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord, the Gospel went out to the Gentiles. It was a new era, and the Lord ushered in a New Covenant. I encourage you to read Hebrews 8, which shows the New Covenant to be better than the Old Covenant. We live in a day of NEW WINE! (289.2)