The religious leaders of the day became increasingly frustrated because Jesus didn’t minister in the way they deemed appropriate. We must stop trying to fit Jesus into our religious boxes and realize that He came to do something new.
18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”
Unmet Expectations (Mark 2:18)
- The Pharisees fasted as they miserably waited for God and the sinners feasted as they joyfully met with God.
- Jesus was unconcerned about meeting the religious expectations of the traditional legalists.
- Religious peer pressure attempts to shame us into a conformity with the system rather than a relationship with the Savior.
Unexpected Observations (Mark 2:19-20)
- Fasting is prioritizing the feasting on God over the feasting on food.
- Believers fast in their longing and feast in their belonging.
- Jesus foreshadowed His sorrowful death and promised His joyful return.
Unfit Formations (Mark 2:21-22)
- It is impossible to stitch Jesus into a tattered religious garment.
- The gospel cannot fit into an old religious system without completely bursting it wide open.
- If you are trying to fit Jesus into your tidy religious box, you have acquired the wrong box.
- Beware of:
- Unscriptural Rituals
- Systematic Works
- Reflective Religion
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.