Feasting and Fasting
Friday night Mary and I went to one of the new wedding venues sprouting up here in the Midlothian area. A woman we’ve known since she was a little girl was getting married and even several of our potted plants made it to help celebrate the occasion. After the vows, the officiating pastor said the usual. “The wedding party will be returning to get some pictures taken before the sun sets.” Then he added the best part, “And you all, instead of sitting here and watching, can get in line and start getting your food.”
It was a full Mexican dinner, complete with fajitas, rice, and refried beans. This was not the time to fast; it was the time to celebrate and feast with the bride and bridegroom. And Jesus agrees.
“Now the disciples of John and the Pharisees were fasting. They came and asked Jesus, ‘Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don’t?’
Jesus replied, ‘The guys in the bridal party are not able to fast when the bridegroom is with them. But days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them. Then they will fast. No one sews a new patch of unshrunken cloth on an old piece of clothing. For if he does, the added piece tears away, the new from the old, and the tear in the garment is worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins—but if he does the wine bursts the wineskin and the new wine is destroyed. But new wine is placed in new wineskins.’” Mark 1:18-22
Mark makes it clear that Jesus is God’s Son, the bridegroom from heaven, and those spending time with him need to celebrate in this foretaste of the Kingdom of God. It’s not a time for ascetic rituals and growling stomachs. As Jesus healed and destroyed the demonic activity in the lives of those he met, as he hung out with tax collectors and sinners who were honestly turning to him, it was time to join the dinner and rejoice.
Now that Jesus has ascended to Heaven and we await his return, he did tell us that there would come times of grief, times of prayer, and special times when we should fast because we are want to concentrate on connecting with him. But we should never fast because somehow we think God loves and awards hungry stomachs.
LORD, protect me from ever thinking that I get your attention by depriving my body of its healthy needs and desires, but help me to also fast when your Spirit is guiding me to do so, looking forward to the coming day when we will celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb of God.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!