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Fasting? - Matthew 9:14-15

Then the followers of John came to Jesus. They said to Jesus, "We and the Pharisees fast often. 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. But the time will come when the bridegroom will leave them. The friends are sad when the bridegroom leaves. Then they will fast." (ERV) Full Text

Key Thought

Jesus wanted John's disciples, along with his own disciples, to realize that while he was with them, it was a time of joy. This was not a time of mourning or fasting or weeping. It's simply inappropriate to fast at a wedding feast. No, a wedding feast is a time of celebration. But as bold as this statement is about Jesus' presence altering everything, we also find a hint that his death will alter everything again, and this time in a much more painful way. The point: Jesus' presence conditions the time; it changes everything; it determines our joy.


Today's Prayer

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Almighty and tender Shepherd, I thank you for loving me so much that you hear my prayers. I believe that Jesus' presence means joy for my life. But I also recognize that I live between his two appearances on earth, and thus the joy is not as great as it was when he was here and far less than it will be when he returns. Give me strength, courage, and joy so that I can face the challenges of this waiting time with faithfulness. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


Today's Verses in Context


When Jesus was leaving, he saw a man named Matthew. Matthew was sitting at his place for collecting taxes. Jesus said to him, "Follow me." Then Matthew stood up and followed Jesus. Jesus ate dinner at Matthew's house. Many tax collectors and other bad people came and ate with Jesus and his followers. The Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with these people. The Pharisees asked Jesus' followers, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and other bad people?" Jesus heard the Pharisees say this. So Jesus said to the Pharisees, "Healthy people don't need a doctor. It is the sick people that need a doctor. I will tell you something. Go and learn what it means: 'I don't want animal sacrifices; I want you to show kindness to people.' I did not come to invite good people. I came to invite sinners." Then the followers of John came to Jesus. They said to Jesus, "We and the Pharisees fast often. 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. 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, he 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 old bags will break. The wine will spill, and the wine bags will be ruined. But people always pour new wine into new wine bags. Then the wine and the wine bags will continue to be good."

Matthew 9:9-17 (ERV)

 



123132: God With Us: 365 Devotionals from the Gospel of MatthewGod With Us:
365 Devotionals from the Gospel of Matthew

By Phil Ware

Join the author of the Gospel of Matthew in God With Us, a devotional that will immerse you in exploring the glories of Immanuel. The book uses one short passage each day and follows the Gospel text from beginning to end. Each day's passage is followed by a brief Reflection to open up the day's Scripture and a Prayer to show how the verses challenge you to live for Jesus.


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Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.


 
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