An Apostolic Understanding – Part Twenty

And, Jesus knew how much people – even His people, the Church – would not like to change so He said: “Hopefully these changes won’t offend you”n … the changes to becoming a new wineskin

Let’s look at that comment….

It is interesting to note – well, interesting to me – to look at the context of Jesus’s comments about the new wineskin

John the Baptist as been prophesying about the Kingdom and the coming King (Jesus)

He is now in prison and he is reviewing his life and his ministry both of which are, by the way, about to end

He has announced that Jesus is the Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world

He has seen the miracles and heard much that seems to be directly from the heart of God
This is not as it has been in the past – major changes from the previous 400 years of God’s silence and apparently inactivity

And, this is not as he expected it to be – he did not expect to be in prison

And, the Kingdom is turning out to be different than he thought

So, he sends his disciples to speak to Jesus about his concerns and his doubts

In the chapter about the new wineskins – the leaders from John’s wineskin come and question the new wineskin that Jesus is forming

Jesus explains the ways of the Kingdom and the Church – the new wineskin

In Matthew 11 … the story continues … and Jesus tells them His answer to John’s question, “Are you really the Messiah or should we look for another to come?”

Jesus’s answer:

Matthew 11:4-6 “And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them (all Kingdom stuff – new wine). And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.”

We need to guard our hearts and not become offended:

We must be careful not to pick up an offence:
Things will not be as they were
Things will not be as you want them to be
Jesus is not going to ask you your opinion
You will have abundant feelings – not all of them good
You might not like what is happening
You might be afraid of what is going to be happening
You may even like things as they are right now
Or as they were 15 – 20 years ago
You will not be consulted by God before the changes take place
You may no longer be a leader in the Church
You may be called and propelled into leadership in the church
You will not fully understand
It will seem that things are out of control when they are not
Church life will get messy
New people will come and the dynamics of current relationships will change

But, remember whose Church this is – It is Jesus’s Church

“And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.”

These new wineskins – the new way of doing things and the way of living a Kingdom lifestyle – need to be received – accepted – embraced

It is “new” …

I remind you … the word “new” can mean two things or both together at the same time:

1> ‘neos’ = something that has never happened before

2> ‘kainos’ = something that is in the process of going to a new quality or forming a new way (something old changing so as to be new)

To embrace what is “new” we need to let go of what is “old”

Old thoughts
Old ways of doing things
Old theology that was not biblical to start with
Old formats and formulas
Old understandings of church and ministry
Old structures
Old foundations that were not biblical in the first place

They were not all “wrong” and they are not all “bad” – – –
They are simply not “NOW”

Some were actually added by the early Church from the realm of pagan religions and simply incorporated into the faith

God is working in the “now” and not in the past
And, God is removing the “old” so He can pour out the “new”

The end result of embracing the new wineskin… next time