New wine must be put into fresh wineskins.

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.’”

As Jesus teaches using these two examples we see him draw a distinct contrast between things that are old and those that are new. The context of his comments is the criticism by religious leaders that he and his disciples do not follow their tradition on fasting. His response speaks to the contrast between internal and external aspects of faith and fasting.

The good news of the kingdom that Christ taught had absolutely nothing to do with external traditions such as fasting. When Jesus speaks of fasting in the sermon on the mount he instructs his disciples (and us) to do it in secret. The two teachings did not go together. No one could fast in the traditional sense and follow the Lord's command to do it in secret.

Help me Lord to drink new wine today Lord. Help me to recognize the old wine for what it is.

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