Thursday, March 31, 2016

Luke 5:33-35

Luke 5:33-35
And they said to Him, “The disciples of John fasted diligently and with prayerful consideration.  The Pharisees also do similarly.  But your disciples eat and drink.  But Jesus said to them, “You are all not powerful enough to make the sons of the wedding chamber to fast in the time which the bridge groom is with them, are you?  But a day will come when the bride groom should also be lifted away from them.  At that time – in those days – they will fast.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

The people around Jesus seek an opportunity to ask a question.  Before we dive into the theology, we need to make sure that our lens is correct.  It is really easy to read these words and to assume that the people are arguing with Jesus.  That might be the case.  But keep in mind that it might not be the case, either.  We are told all over the Bible that God’s Messiah will be doing something new.  If Jesus was about something new, people would need to be curious and they would need to question.  In fact, that’s actually the process of discipleship!  As Jesus is going about and teaching, people do take notice.  Now remember the context.  Jesus has called Levi.  Levi has thrown a feast with a bunch of tax collectors and other sinners.  There are no doubt a bunch of people near Jesus who are curious about what Jesus is doing.  As these tax collectors and sinners realize that they are invited to a party to which they’ve never been invited, they might also notice other differences.

Why is it important to consider that this section may have been asked antagonistically?  Why is it important to consider that it might not be antagonistic?

Second Thought:

We are told that most of the known religious people are involved in fasting and prayer.  But Jesus’ disciples aren’t fasting.  Jesus gives us a simple answer.  When Jesus is around, there isn’t much of a need to fast.  When the very Son of god is a part of our life, what reason do we have to mourn?  I think that this is a great lesson to learn.  In those moments when we are walking step-by-step with Jesus, what reason do we have to be sad and mourning?  Jesus is clear.  When Jesus is with us, we don’t need to fast.

Have you ever thought of fasting in this light?  Does this mean that fasting has no purpose in Christianity?

Third Thought:

In a rare moment, I’m going to answer the question to a prior thought.  Of course fasting has value in the faith!  While Jess is certainly always near to us, does that mean that we are always able to sense Him?  Jesus is always with us, but do we always feel that way?  Of course not.  As Jesus teaches here, He has been physically removed from our presence.  In those moments when we struggle to feel close to Him, we have an opportunity to fast.  The fasting can help bring us closer to Him and help us be able to feel Him more deeply.  Fasting absolutely has a time and a place in Christianity.

Have you ever used fasting to help you draw close to God?  How does it work for you?


Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 5:36-39
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