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Under Scrutiny - Mark 2:18

The followers of John and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came to Jesus and said, "John's followers fast, and the followers of the Pharisees fast. But your followers don't fast. Why?" (ERV) Full Text

Key Thought

As today’s passage and the verses on either side of it indicate, Jesus is in a time of close scrutiny as people try to understand the Lord and his message. Even at this early stage of his ministry, many of the questions move from sincere truth-seeking and quickly become an opportunity to try to trap him. Other questions carry some implicit accusation that Jesus' teaching and expectations are soft and lax on holiness and dedication. While the critical questions of others should make us go back and re-examine our positions and practices, we do not need to compromise our commitments and values. Truth and genuine commitment have always been criticized.

Today's Prayer


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LORD God Almighty, give me the courage to not turn back from my convictions when I am criticized, doubted, and questioned. Help me to know your truth and put it into practice each day of my life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The followers of John and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came to Jesus and said, "John's followers fast, and the followers of the Pharisees fast. But your followers don't fast. Why?" Jesus answered, "{When there is a wedding,} the friends of the bridegroom are not sad while he is with them. They cannot fast (be sad) while the bridegroom is still there. But the time will come when the bridegroom will leave them. The friends are sad when the bridegroom leaves. Then they will fast. "When a person sews a patch over a hole on an old coat, that person never uses a piece of cloth that is not yet shrunk. If he does, the patch will {shrink and} pull away from the coat. Then the hole will be worse. Also, people never pour new wine into old wine bags. Why? Because the new wine will break the bags, and the wine will be ruined with the wine bags. People always put new wine into new wine bags." On the Sabbath day, Jesus was walking through some grain fields. Jesus' followers were walking with him. The followers picked some grain {to eat}. The Pharisees saw this and said to Jesus, "Why are your followers doing that? It is against the {Jewish} law to do that on the Sabbath day." Jesus answered, "You have read what David did when he and the people with him were hungry and needed food. It was during the time of Abiathar the high priest. David went into God's house and ate the bread that was offered to God. And the law {of Moses} says that only priests can eat that bread. David also gave some of the bread to those people with him." Then Jesus said to the Pharisees, "The Sabbath day was made to help people. People were not made to be ruled by the Sabbath day. So the Son of Man is Lord (master) of every day, even the Sabbath."

Mark 2:18-28 (ERV)


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What Jesus Did
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So Jesus said to the Jews that believed in him, "If you continue to obey my teaching, then you are truly my followers. Then you will know the truth. And the truth will make you free."John 8:31-32 (ERV)

Now do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No! God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Jesus Christ.Galatians 1:10 (ERV)

The festival was about half finished. Then Jesus went to the temple area and began to teach. The Jews were amazed. They said, "This man has never studied in school. How did he learn so much?" Jesus answered, "The things I teach are not my own. My teaching comes from him (God) who sent me. If a person wants to do what God wants, then that person will know that my teaching comes from God. That person will know that this teaching is not my own. Any person that teaches his own ideas is trying to get honor for himself. But a person that tries to bring honor to the one that sent him—that person speaks the truth. There is nothing false in him.John 7:14-18 (ERV)


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