“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.” (Reference: Luke 5:37-38 )
“A life of discipleship requires strength that exceeds natural human capacity” , so says the editors of the book where these scripture passages are gathered. The historic Anabaptists knew this was true. They wrote to each other, encouraged each other, and prayer for each other. Newness of spirit would burst the old containers, the old body. While the historic Anabaptists did not believe they really had new bodies or above human standards bodies; but they were able to endure physical tortures and yet hold fast to their faith and beliefs.
Joost Verkindert wrote to his two brothers, “ . . for the flesh always shrinks from suffering. Nevertheless, my dear brothers, there must be suffering, either here or hereafter, for Christ says that the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence . . “ This he wrote on the 100th day of his imprisonment. I am not sure what he meant by “the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence”. He cites Matthew 11:12 where Jesus said that people have used violence in trying to control the coming of the kingdom and have done violence because of it. So that there should be no surprise that violence is being used again.
Rebirth or transformation does not always happen easily or slowly. Sometimes the Spirit bursts into a persons life and the transformation comes amidst “violent” changes and revelations. The reason, beloved, that new wine must be put into new wine skins is that the fermenting process is one of expansion and undulations. The old wine skins (or old ways) could not withstand the changes within. It requires strength and newness.
May you, beloved, be renewed so that the changes that God is making within you can be completed and come to full strength and potency. Selah!