The Parable of the Garment and Wineskins

This is recorded in all three Gospels. I am using Dr. Luke's account.

Since we have an abbreviation of the teachings of Jesus; each written by inspiration from Holy Spirit working through the spirit and the personalities of each individual; we tend to get some variation on these daily accounts. This is all great, because we see how each witness portrays the events, and we get a flavour of life in Christ from these beautiful saints. The one who inspires is the same and the ones who are writing are open to this inspiration for truth and concise expenditure of this truth. We have all the books of the Holy Bible written in this manner and flare; giving us the ALL of life in bold language. There is every avenue of life expounded for us to read and see for ourselves, about man's heart, spirit and soul; entirely laid naked before us, all the sin and downfall, all the glory of battles won in Old Testament times and the advance of the Kingdom in Jesus name in the New. In it all is the precise picture of every single man, woman and child. There is no other book like it!

(Testament means: Verification or authentication of events)

What I'm getting at is this. Luke is writing by inspiration and as we look at this precise scripture and the way it is written, it accounts for us to believe that the two thoughts are one connected idea. Meaning; both are dealing with something old and something new. But, there is a deeper work going on in both cogitations.


He told them a proverb also: "No one puts a patch from a new garment on an old garment; if he does, he will both tear the new one, and the patch from the new [one] will not match the old [garment].

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the fresh wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled and the skins will be ruined (destroyed).

But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins". Luke 5. 36 - 38 (Amp.)

There are a number of elements spoken of here.

1) It is told as a parable or proverb, which is a simple story illustrating a moral truth.

2) A garment of New and Old cloth and patches

3) New wine and old wineskins

4) Bursting and spillage

5) Ruining of the wineskins

6) Fresh wineskins

Stories in one form or another is the typical way of teaching in Hebrew culture. Jesus used this method continually to demonstrate Kingdom and life values, not only speaking about the present time but also about the future.

He begins with speaking about something New; the New patch on an old garment. Tearing of the New, to add to the Old.

So what are these garments representing?

Note: It is something New, that is his first concern. Tearing away of a patch from the New doesn't make sense to add to the Old. Why not take a patch from something old to match with the old? But that is not what he's talking about at all.

Jesus represents the something New, as in a New covenant, agreement or promise. But there is a problem. You cannot have something New, that first of all is not understood, because the New was coming to us in his revealed life, (that of God in the flesh) and could not completely come in fulfilled actual fact, until his death. We have the luxury of looking backwards, but these people were lost to the whole concept and had to discern what he was really talking about. The disciples on more than one occasion asked for the interpretation to the many parables.

Jesus wasn't about to bring a cultural change, he was bringing a structure change, not of the doctrinal foundation, but what had been built on the foundation. He was ushering in a New cloth of covering for the sins and the Old traditions of how to receive forgiveness and Newness (Ezek.36.26) in your heart. Therefore it was impossible for the New lamb to be placed on top to cover the Old of the tradition of sacrifice, or for what the law was requiring. The New would not match up with the old. Instead the Old has to be done away with; otherwise why have a New garment just to use for patches to an old one.

So was there a problem with the Old covenant? Yes and No; it was perfect and useful for a prescribed amount of time, but a New time was approaching and was actually on the doorstep. When Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt there was a specific action of the blood on the doorpost and the remembrance of this action. Now the blood is going to be applied to another wooden structure, that of the cross. This continues to represent a rescue, freedom from slavery, deliverance, salvation firstly through the intermediary Moses and now through Jesus the Christ. The difference here is the death of the lamb in human form. He replaces the priesthood of the tribe of Levi and its transference of honor and power to the Lion of Judah. Follow with me in Hebrews...

11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:

“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”

18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. 20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever.’

22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. Heb.7:11-28

(And continuing into chp. 8)

1Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said:

“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbour,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.

13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear. Heb.8:1-13 NIV

Only God could foresee the timing of history to usher in this New transformation. No mere man would be able to bring about this revolutionary amendment to a religious order of law, precept and principle without a true revolution, such as by an act of war; but God made war on his terms, by insisting upon a war in the hearts of all men. It was about to start now, and will not end until the second coming of a re-birthing of the entire earth, set in our future. That day and hour no one knows except the Father.

He brought this all about at a time when all the Kingdoms of earth were going to enter into a radical change over the next number of centuries. He has impeccable timing, but why not, he is God. The Jewish nation would have a continued exodus from Israel, and scatter throughout the world, not only from the present Roman domination, but from all the new up and coming world conquerors; as we have record in our history books. We also know that there is a remnant of Jewish peoples today in every corner of the earth.

So we can see in hindsight, how this all came about.

A Powerful Change! From the authoritarian dictatorial crucifiers of the law and all that God held precious; that from the beginning was continuously misinterpreted, and added to by man's laws and precepts. It had to go! And of course this whole Messianic concept is still rejected to this day by that same mindset and shear hardness of heart as those who stood in defiance at Christ's crucifixion. That same religious spirit will raise its ugly head at the very whisper of the name of Jesus, as the Christ and Messiah.

So we see, a New garment, consider it a New priestly garment if you will, that was to replace, not patch the Old priestly garment of a different generation.

The two sides to this parable are actually speaking of the coming of Christ, a changing of the guard, and with his death not only the sacrifice of sacrifices but the New wine was going to be introduced in Holy Spirit, and the New wine skins are all the hearts and spirits of mankind, now able to find redemption, salvation, forgiveness of sin in the one true High Priest, once for all forever, and that his law would be in men's minds and written on their hearts, with a proficiency as never seen before .

So trying to apply the New wine within a structure of Old covenant would be impossible. The law does not fade away but is perfected in Christ, completed on our behalf. This New and better sacrifice allows for the actual spiritual dynamic of supernatural power having the ability to change men's hearts, minds and spirits and make them new. Therefore the New wine is passing into the Now repentant, redeemed, New (unsullied, unmarked) wine skins, sanctified, and made ready by the outpouring of the blood of Christ, and are proficient to hold the New wine of the Spirit. But if we were to try to apply the Old covenant and the blood of animals and the law alone, there would be a spoilage of the bodies, mind, heart, spirit and strength of men, (all of us) because the New could not be contained within the structure of the Old, and all would be ruined. That is why today, when men revert back to living under law or a mixing in of law and grace that there is a ruining of people's lives and hearts and their spirits never find a place of peace, because they are striving within a system of law and rules that could never bring about the righteousness of Christ. They actually pervert what Jesus did on the cross and make it as if it had no account in the complete perfecting of our salvation. Jesus himself said on the cross, "It is finished, done!" The apostle Paul, said, "you cannot have circumcision of the flesh without all the law with it, but that it was the circumcision of the heart that God was wanting." (Emphasis mine: Galatians)

Repentance therefore MUST be at the forefront of every believer's life. A keeping of a clean, holy wineskin, ever ready to take in the ongoing refreshing through a steady permanence of keeping New wine in the well maintained and consecrated wineskin. Remaining pliable, in and through the sanctification process. Paul encourages the "Putting on of the New man." Wearing your redemption close like a garment and available without shame for all to see. This Newness is a spiritual element, not available by doing works of the law, or works of the flesh. It is also impossible to put the Spirit of life into the flesh of death. Many have tried but it will burst and all will be lost, ruined.

But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. Luke 5.38 (NKJ)

"Thank you Our Heavenly Father and God for such an incredible plan of salvation, and the keeping power in and through Christ Jesus. You are simply too wonderful for our comprehension!" L.

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Comments 4 comments

Michael Adams1959 profile image

Michael Adams1959 5 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

Good work enjoyed the reading


Saintatlarge profile image

Saintatlarge 5 years ago from Canada Author

Michael, thank you for stopping by. Appreciate the comment. Blessings, L.


Kenja profile image

Kenja 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

Christian scholarship... rare, worthwhile, better than interesting. best, Ken


Saintatlarge profile image

Saintatlarge 4 years ago from Canada Author

Ken, thank you. A very much appreciated comment. L.

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