"Put New Wine Into Old Bottles"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 180

Context: Jesus, after declaring in the Sermon on the Mount that His teachings are the fulfillment of the old law, continues to teach the people and to minister to their needs. He heals them of their ills and instructs them in the life of the disciple. Further miracles are seen as He stills the waves on the Sea of Galilee, casts out devils from two possessed ones into a herd of swine, and at Capernaum, forgives the sins of a man afflicted with palsy and then heals him. After Jesus and his followers dine with tax collectors and sinners, the disciples of John the Baptist ask why His disciples are not required to fast. Jesus explains that wedding guests do not mourn while the bridegroom is at hand; and that adherence to the old way, when the new is present, may cause the loss of both:

Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

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