Scripture tells us that Jesus spoke in parables throughout His whole earthly ministry (Matt 13:34). The parables Jesus spoke were pertaining to the Kingdom of God, and Jesus taught that…
the Kingdom of God isn’t to be observed as a physical place, but that the Kingdom is within us (Luke 17:21).
Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” If Jesus is the vine, He expects us to produce grapes: the fruit of His spirit. The fruit is His nature and character being birthed in us over time by us taking in the revelation (water) of His Word (Deuteronomy 32:2) and allowing it to grow and develop in us.
However, wine grapes don’t just stop at being grapes; they are eventually used to make wine. At the time of harvest, grapes are crushed and put through a refining process to remove any leftover impurities. The crushing of the grapes is symbolic of the tribulation we go through to perfect the Word inside us. The word tribulation, “thlipsis” in the Greek, comes from the word “thlibo” which is literally defined as “to press as grapes”. (1)
There is no way we can come into perfection without the Word in us being tried and proven and our character being refined. Acts 14:22 (AMP) confirms that tribulation is necessary:
“strengthening and establishing the hearts of the disciples; encouraging them to remain firm in the faith, saying, “It is through many tribulations and hardships that we must enter the kingdom of God.”
The wine making process is symbolic of the process our souls go through to become the new wine that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 26:29:
“But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
Origen, a second century Early Church Father expounds the passage in Matthew 26:29 where Jesus said He won’t drink of the wine until the kingdom age.
. . . let us now see how our Savior will no longer drink wine until he drinks it anew with the saints in the kingdom of God (cf. Mt 26:29; Mk 14:25). My Savior is grieving even now over my sins. My Savior cannot be glad as long as I persist in iniquity. And why not? Because he himself is the “advocate with the Father for our sins,” as John, his co-worker, explains saying that “if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins” (1 Jn 2:1-2). How then can he who is the “advocate for my sins” drink the wine of gladness when I am saddening him with my sins? How can he who “draws near to the altar” to make expiation for me the sinner be joyful when his sadness for my sins is constantly increasing? “With you,” he says, “will I drink it in my Father’s kingdom” (Mt 26:29). As long as we do not act so as to ascend to the kingdom, he cannot drink alone the wine he promised to drink with us. He therefore is in grief as long as we persist in error. For if his Apostle “mourns for those who sinned before and have not repented of what they did” (cf. 2 Cor 12:21), what shall I say of him who is called “the Son of love” (cf. CoIl: 13), who “emptied himself’ for the love he bore for us and “did not seek his own benefit,” though he “was in the form of God,” but sought what was of benefit to us, and for this reason “poured himself out” (cf. Phil 2:6-7; 1 Cor 13:5)? . . . He is waiting, therefore, for us to be converted, to imitate his example, to follow his footsteps, and to be able to rejoice with us and “drink wine with us in the kingdom of his Father” (Mt 26:29). . . . We, therefore, are the ones who, neglecting our own life, are delaying his joy.(2)
Origen explains above that whilst we continue in our sin nature, we cannot become the new wine, and this will not happen until we are perfected in our understanding and our walk.
We cannot be perfected until the end of the age, and Jesus cannot drink of the wine until the end of the age, because it’s only at the end of the age when the fullness of the revelation (fullness of Christ) is revealed (3), allowing us the opportunity to step into perfection and become one with Him. This is when He can partake of us, the new wine, because He is the head and we are the body (4).
This is when He can partake of us, the new wine, because He is the head and we are the body.
Just as Jesus likened His blood being shed for the remission of sins to the wine being poured out at the Passover Feast (Matt 26:28), we are to become the new wine to be poured out for others through our walk in perfection.
Once we have been cleansed of our old nature through the washing of the Word, and have endured through trials and tribulation, we become the new wine. This is coming into the fullness of the nature of God, which like wine, is eternal and does not spoil.
To God be the glory, Amen!
(1) “Thlibo” G2346 Thayer’s Definition
(2) Origen, Spirit and Fire
(3) Eph 4:13
(4) Colossians 1:18