Today’s Reading: Matthew 9:14-17
The original intent of a fast is to mourn or to lament. This was done usually after a loved passed away or when a catastrophic event took place in the city or country. They would deny themselves food to concentrate on the promise of God for a deliverer. If you had ever fasted before whether by choice or not, you have experienced a dependence on Provision. We have all kinds of distractions that keep our focus away from God and to do that we forget His promises.
John’s disciples and the Pharisees fasted because they were waiting/lamenting the fact that they were still without their DELIVERER. So when the disciples of John came to ask Jesus why didn’t His disciples fasted they were in a way asking if He was the One that John talked about.
Jesus uses an interesting illustration. During a wedding, if you haven’t noticed, there isn’t anyone lamenting (ok no bad and corny marriage jokes). Everyone is celebrating. They are celebrating the Joining of two individuals by an ACT of God. If the groom were to be taken away from the wedding then the celebration would stop and lamenting would commence.
Jesus also uses the illustration of a patch and a wine skin. First, if a new patch were to be sewed onto an old garment then as soon as it was washed then the patch would shrink differently and the garment would be ruined. Same with the wine-skin. If new wine was put into an old wine skin then it would ferment and expand causing the old rigid wine-skin to burst. Both were illustrations showing the listeners that the teaching of Jesus was incompatible to that from the Pharisees.
Think about this as your day goes on; Are you Lamenting Jesus? Or are you Celebrating Jesus? Are you still “waiting” on Him?