What does it mean “the new piece of cloth put on the old garment and the new wine put into old wineskins” in the parable of Jesus?


I read Jesus’ parables again and some of them are so profound, that I prefer to ask the opinion of a more experienced person, like you. I understood that Jesus came to change sinners, that’s why He preferred to have dinner with the tax collector. I also understand that because the disciples were together with Christ, the groom, they could do everything He was doing without sinning, even if the Pharisees thought that they were violating the old laws. What I do not understand is the story about the piece of cloth torn from the new garment and put on the old garment and putting the new wine into old wineskins and vice versa. Can you, please, explain it to me? Thank you in advance and God bless!

For interpretation, I will firstly quote the entire  …

Text from the Gospel of Luke 5:27-39

It tells us the following …

After that He went out and noticed a tax collector namedLevi sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him. And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of tax collectors and other people who were reclining at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” And they said to Him, “The disciples of John often fast and offer prayers, the disciples of the Pharisees also do the same, but Yours eat and drink.” And Jesus said to them, “You cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” And He was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.‘” (Luke 5:27-39)(NASB)

The context explains the text

Jesus told this parable when He was charged by the Pharisees and scribes that He was in the house of Levi, the tax collector and was eating with tax collectors and sinners. Saying this parable, the Lord Jesus responded to allegations against him.

Both elements of this parable (piece of cloth and wineskins) refer to two incompatible doctrines. The teaching of Jesus Christ was incompatible with the teaching of all the scribes and Pharisees as the piece of cloth from a new garment does not match to darn an old garment. Pharisees and scribes wanted just to show how holy they were and they did not care about the salvation of others. This was and is the essence of their teaching and of any religion produced by the human mind. Therefore, they could not understand why the Lord Jesus could sit at the table with tax collectors and sinners. The desire of Jesus and his efforts to “heal the sick” were for the scribes and Pharisees a “piece of cloth from a new garment” that did not match any way to the “old garment” of their teaching.

The second part of the parable has exactly the same meaning, which refers to the “new wine” of Christ’s teaching that was incompatible with the “old wineskins” of the thinking of the Pharisees and scribes and even of the disciples of John. Accepting Jesus’ teaching requires a deep understanding and denial of any previous human study to which one had been attached until he decided to become a disciple of Christ. Exactly to show how hard it is, Jesus said at the end “And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new, for he says: “The old is good enough! ”

To what extent have you accepted the teachings of Jesus Christ? Do you try to tear a piece of cloth to darn the old human religion garments that you have put on before? Was there a new birth in your life, so that you can receive and live the “new wine” of Jesus’ teachings, or, because you are accustomed to the “old wine” of human concepts and traditions that you have drunk so far, you do not want any change in your life?

Translated by Felicia Rotaru