Obstacles & New Wineskin

John Tilton


Mark 2:1-5 & 21-22 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”


The men carrying the paralyzed man saw that they were not able to get the man into and before Jesus. However, their determination was so strong that they proceeded to make an opening in the roof by digging through it in order to then lower the paralyzed man on the mat down before Jesus. Seeing their determination and faith, Jesus stated “Son, your sins are forgiven.” We later read how Jesus then teaches that one would not put new wine into old stretched out and ready to burst wineskins, but rather new wineskins. The old wineskins represent our old ways and beliefs that are often set, preventing us from being receptive and pliable to receive new and fresh teaching, thinking and beliefs.


There are often times when I and I believe many of us often are caught up outside the perimeter of a closeness to Jesus, or shielded from him because a roof or obstacle that gets in the way by our own doing rather then His. It is imperative that we find a way to get through the crowd of distractions, including metaphorically digging through a roof or obstacles of distractions in order that we get ourselves before Jesus in our prayers, devotions and relationship. Then, when Jesus begins seeding into us, we need to be new wineskins to receive His gifts and answers for us, not to be bound in beliefs and baggage. As Jesus told the men that their faith brought about forgiveness of sin, may our faith bring forth encouragement, hope and peace.


Dear Lord, thank you for giving me such a clear understanding of growing closer to you with determination and persistence with my faith that will enable me to receive all that I seek and all that you will bless me with. May I have a heart to receive what you have for me as a new wineskin; elastic, pliable and stretchable.

Devotions for February 24

Numbers 14,15,16
Mark 3

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