We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

(Friday, 11/30/07) Parable 2 of the Parabolic Sayings - Fasting and the Bridegroom - Luke 5:33

Fasting and the Bridegroom - Luke 5:33

Hear It! Luke 5
Also in Matt 9:14, Mark 2:19

The Setting
In Luke 5:27-32 Jesus was eating with the tax collectors and sinners. The Pharisees looked down on this practice because their theology said that God didn’t love sinners, and godly people didn’t associate with sinners.

The Problem
The Pharisees want to know why Jesus and his disciples are not fasting.

Jesus’ answer: “You cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you?” It helps to understand the marriage customs of that day. After the wedding, there was a week long marriage feast. As long as the bridegroom was there, there was much celebrating. That was not a time for mourning. This is Kingdom imagery. The one who is bringing in the kingdom, the Messiah, is here!

Pentecost sees an allusion to the day of atonement. If he is correct, then the significance is that this gives us an indication of what a proper motivation for fasting is--mourning. There was only one time in Israel’s calendar of events that they were required to fast--the day of atonement. You were supposed to fast and beat your chest in mourning over your sinfulness. All other fasts were instigated by culture or personal choice. Therefore, to demand that someone fast, other than on the day of atonement, was ritualistic legalism. And Jesus goes after that throughout his ministry. When the Messiah/bridegroom shows up, that is not a time to fast.

If the Day of Atonement imagery is not what is being alluded to, another possible connection is Zech 7-8 esp. 8:19 The Jews were fasting for themselves and not for God in Zechariah’s time and Zech predicts that all fasts would be turned into feasts. The feast imagery is imagery of the kingdom and that is what Jesus is proclaiming - the presence of the kingdom.

The Central Truth
There is no need for fasting when Messiah is present. He would deal with the issue that was the reason for the day of atonement and for fasting. Jesus is claiming to be the Messiah who eliminates the need to fast.

Jesus goes on to say that there will come a time when the bridegroom will be taken away, then they will fast in those days. The word “taken away” is term of violence and foreshadows His rejection and death.

When Jesus was crucified, the disciples went away beating their breasts... that is a picture of the day of atonement. When every eye sees Him, there will be mourning in Israel (Zech 12:, Olivet Discourse).

SUMMARY of Thursday & Friday

The first parabolic saying revealed that the people needed to recognize that Jesus was more than the Son of Joseph. He was the fulfillment of Isa 61. When Jesus claims to be the bridegroom, it is also a major claim to Messiahship.

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