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Παρασκευή, 27 Σεπτεμβρίου 2019

“No one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined.” (Luke 5:37)

“No one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined.” (Luke 5:37)

Although it may sound rather cryptic to us, the metaphor our Lord used regarding wineskins was readily understood by all who listened. This is because everyone at that time knew the process, and perhaps even participated in the making of wine. It was the most common drink during that era and, since they didn’t have modern bottling methods, wine was fermented in the skins of animals. Goat hide was most often used and processed in such a way to not only be leak-resistant but, had the ability to expand and stretch as the new wine fermented. Because fermentation produced gases which both, stretched and dried the skins, thus making them brittle and inflexible, reusing them was a risk that, more-often-than-not, resulted in their bursting.   

The intent of our Lord’s analogy was that His gospel message and teachings (i.e. turning other cheek, loving one’s enemies, forgiving others unconditionally, etc.) were so new and radical to the mindset of the Jews, that they literally needed to shed their old self for a new; hence the concept of being “born again.”

Fr. John

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