What Jesus Did! 'Fasting?' — Matthew 9:14-15

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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."
— Matthew 9:14-15 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 9:14-15 NLT — "We and the Pharisees fast often. But your followers don't fast. Why?"

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

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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Rev. 19:6-9
  • Matt. 12:42
  • Matt. 26:27-29

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.