Shedding Old Skins

Julia Downey Davis

READ : Mark 2:18-22

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins … but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins. (v. 22)

My youngest daughter was fascinated by her recent opportunity to touch a snake skin. Once smooth and shiny, the skin had formerly been an essential part of protecting its owner. But a snake’s skin can’t expand, so as the animal matured, its skin became a hindrance. The snake needed to shed the old skin in order to enable it to keep growing. Now dry and papery, the old skin offered an interesting lesson in Life Science – and in Christian discipleship!

Jesus and his disciples perplexed people who were expecting routine religious rituals from their teachers. The people asked why Jesus’ disciples didn’t fast – an honorable spiritual discipline practiced by other religious leaders and their followers. Did this mean that Jesus and his disciples shunned spiritual discipline? No. But Jesus’ identity changed everything. He was the Bridegroom; how could his friends fast while he was with them? (v. 19).

God faithfully reveals new insights into his truth as we study his Word. Too often I try to hang on to my routine life. But new gospel wine demands new skins, says Jesus. I need to be ready to shed old habits and ideas as God’s truth helps me grow. – Julia Downey Davis


Spirit of Truth, help me evaluate my ideas against the reality of God’s Word.