Mark 2 v 18 - 20

Fasting was a regular practice for strict Jews, although there was only one day of the year where every Jew had to fast and that was on the Day of Atonement, the day when the whole nation confessed their sin and was forgiven. The stricter Jews would generally fast on two days every week-Mondays and Thursdays-from 6 am to 6 pm. Although generally fasting can be seen as a good thing, the Pharisees used it as a means of self-aggrandisement, calling all those who were bystanders to their goodness because they would whiten their faces and wear different clothes on their fast days! They also felt that it would bring them to the notice of God.

So, Jesus is approached and questioned by the disciples of John the Baptist as to why His disciples didn't fast. I think we can understand it to be a gentle, but critical approach, but it can be noted that those who didn't or couldn't fast (because they had jobs full of hard labour) stood out as being 'less religious'. The answer of Jesus involved Him talking about Jewish weddings. When a couple got married, they remained at home and, for a week or so, they had open house where there was continual feasting. I think we can gather from John's description of the wedding in Cana that these were times of great joy and involved the whole community: they were a great escape from what was generally a hard life with an early death. The disciples were like the closest friends of the Bridegroom and so Rabbinic ruling stated that they were relieved of all religious observances during this time of celebration. This is a reminder to us that the life that is lived in Christ cannot be lived other than in joy.

However, Jesus gives the listeners early notice that one day there would be separation and sadness. Jesus knew that the cross lay ahead, yet He wouldn't be deflected from the road He was on.

0 views

Recent Posts

See All

Mark 8 v 36 - 37

There are some things which are lost unless used: talent is one such as if it is not used it will waste away. Life is like that, the willingness to give up one's life can determine true greatness.

Mark 8 v 34 - 35

We can tell that what Jesus is wanting to say is especially important in that He called the crowd and the disciples to Him. This part of Mark's Gospel is at the heart and centre of the Christian fai

Mark 8 v 31 - 33

The faith declaration of Peter produces the frankness of Jesus. He tells the disciples openly that He will subvert the common Jewish assumptions about the Messiah through what He is about to do. We