Anchored Daily: Mark 2:18-3:12

posted by Bethel Communications | Feb 6, 2023

As I read our passage today starting in Mark chapter 2 verse 18 through Mark
chapter 3 verse 12, one word came to mind. Whine. Wine. Actually, that’s two
words. W-H-I-N-E, and W-I-N-E. Wine. It might just be my Midwest accent, but
those words sound identical to me. Hello podcast friends! This is Angie and today
we’re going to focus on those two words that to me sound like one word: Whine
and Wine.

Just a few weeks ago we finished our 21-days of prayer and fasting, so it seems
fitting to focus on the first few verses of our longer reading for today, which is
about fasting. Let’s talk first about W-H-I-N-E.

Have you ever noticed how the Pharisees were professional whiners? It seems
like their main life goal was to follow Jesus around and criticize or complain about
everything He said and did. That’s what is happening throughout our passage for
today. Specifically, they are critical of His stance on fasting and the Sabbath. As
more and more people heard and responded to the teachings of Jesus, the
Pharisees grew more and more concerned. We are only two chapters into Mark
and they are already plotting how they might kill Him. Wow, nice guys.

In verses 19-22, in response to the Pharisees critique about fasting, Jesus focuses
on three succinct parables to get his point across, though it’s highly likely the
Pharisees were clueless. They weren’t drunk on W-I-N-E, but were obnoxiously
consumed with their W-H-I-N-E.

Jesus speaks of a wedding celebration, an old torn garment and a patch, and
finally about old wineskin and new wine. These would have obviously made the
Pharisees w-h-i-n-e even more. Jesus was claiming to be God, as the long-awaited
Bridegroom coming for His bride, one who was not coming to be added to the old
forms and traditions, but as one bringing something new and better. And as one
who was new and better, He simply could not be contained or added to what was

If the Pharisees could stop their W-H-I-N-E for a moment, they might have
realized the gravity of the truth bomb just dropped by Jesus.

Pastor David Dykens explained it this way, stating, “We use bottles to hold wine
today, but in Jesus’ time wine was most often stored in goatskins. These skins
were removed and scraped clean on the inside and then tanned over a fire. Then
the skin was stitched back together, with the neck of the goatskin becoming the
neck of the wineskin. A fresh wineskin was soft and pliable. When new wine was
poured into it, gas was released from the process of fermentation. The new
wineskin would stretch to accommodate this expansion.

This parable is funny, because Jesus is insinuating only an idiot would put new
wine in an old wineskin. Those who understood probably rolled with laughter
because they knew what would happen. An old wineskin expands and hardens
from its original supply of wine. Once filled, it stops expanding and becomes rigid.
It was hilarious to imagine the result of pouring new wine into an old wineskin.
Over a period of just a few days there would be an audible sound as the hardened
skin would begin to crack and split. As the new wine expanded, the old skin would
be too rigid to change its shape. The old skin wouldn’t stretch and soon the
stitches would start to pop. Can’t you almost hear the old wineskin stretching and
straining until “pop!” the seams would burst open and the new wine would leak
out and be lost.”

The Pharisees could not handle this new W-I-N-E Jesus was offering. They were
like inflexible old wineskins. The way of Jesus was not the way they knew, and
they arrogantly and stubbornly hardened their hearts.

We can do that too, can’t we? We can W-H-I-N-E about new ideas that threaten
the “good old days” or “the way we’ve always done it.” New is not bad, but it can
be scary or hard, and we can hold tightly to those beloved old wineskins in an
effort to avoid change.

We must guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Like an old, stiff wineskin,
our hearts and minds can become so rigid towards something new, even when
that new is God ordained, that we can miss what God has for us. We can miss
deeper relationship with Him, we can miss opportunities to minister in His name.
We can miss the goodness He has for us because we are trying to shove new wine
into an old wineskin.

May God make our hearts and minds pliable and open to His leading, as we
loosen our grip on old wineskins and open our hands fully to Him.
#nomorewhining. Amen.


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