Unlimited: A Time to Rejoice
Oct 23, 2020 1834
Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”
Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins” (Mark 2:18–22, NIV).
The Jews had set many religious rules about how to live. Some of them required them to fast – to not eat for long periods of time. But Jesus and his disciples didn’t seem to follow these rules.
The religious leaders thought that Jesus’ followers should fast and be miserable together with them, so they came and asked him about it.
The people were shocked that Jesus and his disciples were clearly having a good time eating and drinking. The religious leaders taught that if you were properly religious, you shouldn’t enjoy life at all. Instead, you had to go around fasting and being solemn and serious all the time.
But Jesus uses the example of new wine, which was basically unfermented grape juice. He says, you don’t put fresh grape juice into an old wineskin, in which the previous wine had fermented, because obviously, the wineskin would burst.
You can’t mix the old and the new. You can’t mix the happiness and sadness. Everything about Jesus is new, and he always brings joy.
Jesus is also saying that there’s a time for everything. Right now, he’s saying, just like there’s joy at a wedding when the bridegroom is present, so too, it’s not possible to be miserable and sad when he, the Bridegroom from heaven, is right there with them.
But he knows that the time will come, in the future, when his followers will be sad, after the tragedy of the Cross.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: How do you express your Christian walk in your life? Is the Bridegroom in your life? Do others see the joy that comes from walking with Jesus? Ask God to fill you today with the joy of the Lord.