Communion Pt. 6 – Disposing Old Wineskins

Pro. Jeremiah Shepherd

Let the earth rejoice! Communion has been restored, and the regeneration of love continues. Still, it has not reached the final state of perfection originally intended by God. As long as opposition exists, the intended synergy of kingdom communion can’t be fully realized. Christ’s work on the cross has guaranteed the certainty that all things will eventually be common again, but as the children of God, we must continue with some adversity in order to complete the process of learning how to love. The Lord began the immense undertaking of repairing communion the moment Adam and eve sinned, but He was devoted to the work before the fateful events of the garden ever occurred. Even before the world was founded, Jesus was committed to the process of restoring communion.

1 Peter 1:18-21
“18Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,* 21Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”*

Upon His physical arrival in the earth, Jesus wasted no time addressing communion and what it would take to restore it to perfection. He would do His part while teaching us to be faithful in ours so that the original plan of God could be accomplished. Communion was so important that the first miracle of Jesus was a prophetic demonstration of how it would be revived.

John 2:1-11 (KJV)
“And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. 6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”

Here, in the first miracle performed by Jesus, they are at a wedding feast. This is no coincidence, as the setting is meant to convey a celebratory environment. A wedding is a time to rejoice in the union—or communion—of two, and this wedding was used to prophetically foreshadow the spiritual reunion that was soon to come.

At the beginning of this wedding, a peculiar, verbal exchange happens between Mary and Jesus. Mary delivers news that there is no more wine, but Jesus responds by saying, “mine hour is not yet come”. Ironically there is a gap in communication, here. Jesus’ reply obviously refers to His time to die and bring salvation to mankind. So, why would He say this now, especially when He wasn’t asked about his death?

While Mary came to Jesus because there was no literal wine for the physical union, Jesus’ response referenced the need of His blood (wine) for the spiritual union—communion. They were speaking two different languages. They didn’t understand then, but Jesus knew that, one day, they would. The Lord was aware that the coming miracle would be rich with meaning before He ever performed it, and this was the reason for His response.

The six water pots used held several gallons (10’s of gallons) of water in order that guests could wash their hands and feet before taking part in the feast. This detail highlighted and symbolized the necessity of spiritual purification before partaking in communion. The meaning of this miracle’s seemingly small details are actually very significant, and the same revelations are reemphasized as this chapter continues. As we read further in John 2, we see a different cleansing take place.

John 2:12-21
“12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. 13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. 17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. 18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body.”

In this latter half of John 2, Jesus continued to a more direct and intentional type of cleansing. He removed the filth of materialism from His temple, and proceeded to reinstate its purpose for existing. Order had to be set before restoration could take place. His rebuke was intended to sharply correct, and this was essential before any new direction or revelation could ever be given. The temple and thus, our temple, needs cleansing before the restoration of reason (purpose). This was also demonstrated in yet, another scripture.

Mark 2:18-22
“18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? 19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. 21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. /turncall\22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.”

This passage in Mark 2 provides supporting revelation into Jesus reasons for cleansing out the temple. Something old cannot contain something new, because it will not last. If a hole in an old garment is patched with new fabric, the shrinkage of the new fabric will cause the patch to tear. Similarly, and more significantly, Jesus declares that new wine can’t be stored in old wineskins, because the fermentation process would cause the old wine skins to burst from lack of elasticity. Wine would, then, spill from the pressure. Ultimately, mankind needs to be cleansed and restored before participating in communion again.

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