Traditionally we have seen the statements by Jesus about new patches on old cloth, and putting new wine in old wineskins, as illustrating the necessity of the new birth.

Yes, if you try to put the new wine in the old man, he can’t hold it. And if you just try to patch yourself up with new ideas, it won’t work. But I think there is more to this.

In the parables, Jesus tended to be referencing the present day Jewish kingdom, and how it was going away. Of course, the people didnt understand that. It was unthinkable that Messiah would come and not take the Jewish kingdom back from the Romans. That was their hope.

Jesus came to bring the kingdom of God to earth, not save the Jewish one. Jesus came to bring the new covenant, not prop up the old one. Jesus came to fulfill the law, thereby doing away with it, but not to enable people to keep the law.

I submit that the old wine skin is the old covenant and the old fabric is the law. The new wine can’t be kept under the old covenant. And grace cannot be sewn onto the law. Or visa versa. It’s not important which is which.

If you are a believer and call yourself a Christian, but still try to live by the old covenant and the law, or patch the law into the freedom of grace, you are living in the rubble of the old system, and are not really living as a new creation.

When you see God as a judgmental god, you have missed the final revelation of Him in Jesus. He is good. All the time.

When you try to patch a wrathful, vengeful, demanding god onto that revelation and image that Jesus showed us, you are not living in the kingdom of God.