Jesus Questioned About Fasting
18 Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, "How is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?"Read more
Jesus used a vivid picture to tell the Pharisees why His disciples did not fast. After a Jewish wedding, the couple did not go away for a honeymoon; they stayed at home. For a week or so, an open house was kept with continual feasting and rejoicing. It was a hard life during the wedding week, but it was the happiest week in a man's life. To that week of happiness were invited the closest friends of the bride and the bridegroom, and they were called by the name "children of the bridechamber".
Jesus likened his little company to men who were children of the bridechamber, chosen guests at a wedding feast. There was actually a rabbinic ruling which said, "All in attendance on the bridegroom are relieved of all religious observances which would lessen their joy." The wedding guests were actually exempt from all fasting.
This incident tells us that the characteristic Christian attitude to life is joy. The discovery of Christ and the company of Christ is the key to happiness. There was a Japanese criminal called Tockichi Ishii. He was utterly and bestially pitiless; he had brutally and callously murdered men, women, and children in his career of crime. He was captured and imprisoned. Two Canadian ladies visited the prison. He could not be induced even to speak; he only glowered at them with the face of a wild beast. When they left, they left with him a copy of the Bible in the faint hope that he might read it. He read it, and the story of the crucifixion made him a changed man. "Later when the jailer came to lead the doomed man to the scaffold, he found not the surly, hardened brute he expected, but a smiling, radiant man, for Ishii the murderer had been born again." The mark of his rebirth was a smiling radiance. The life that is lived in Christ cannot be lived other than in joy.
But, in this passage of scripture, the story ends with a foreboding cloud across the sky. No doubt when Jesus spoke of the day when the bridegroom would be taken away, his friends did not at the moment see the meaning of it. But here, right at the beginning, Jesus saw the cross ahead. Death did not take him unawares; even now he had counted the cost and chosen the way. Here is courage; here is the picture of a man who would not be deflected from the road at whose end there loomed the cross.
My Life Application
Never fail to take the time with someone you may not know. God's timing is set and your visit may be the last as in today's story. Keep praying for God to use you.
My Prayer and Praise
Dear Father in Heaven, I just can't imagine what Heaven will be like with You, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, angels, and the saints from all over the world who have preceded me and those who will follow me. Hallelujah, what a day that will be. Amen!