Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 38

                                  Image result for Book of Matthew

Day 38: Rejoice, Jesus has Come!

Please read the Bible verse for today:
Matthew 9: 14-17

Jesus Questioned About Fasting

14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”

Reading, 'John's disciples,' made me stop and think. 'John? John who?' and then I remembered John the Baptist. We read in Matthew 4:12, that John was put in prison, but we haven't heard about him since. John is in jail, and yet he still has followers. Perhaps his followers were fasting for John. Perhaps, since the Bible mentions the Pharisees were fasting too, that it was on the Jewish calendar to fast-a custom or holiday to fast. Either way, John's disciples ask Jesus why Jesus' disciples aren't fasting.
15 "Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast."
I love Jesus' response. 'Why should my disciples fast while I am with them? I am God among them- there is no need to fast.' The Bible commentary in Mark 2:19 reads, "How can the guest of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? Jesus compared his disciples with the guests of a bridegroom A Jewish wedding was a particularly joyous occasion, and the celebration associated with it often lasted a week. It was unthinkable to fast during such festivities, because fasting was associated with sorrow." Jesus compares Himself to a bridegroom and being with Him is like being at a wedding. I was overjoyed on my wedding day. I was being united to my best friend, my soul mate, my love and my heart for life. I was bubbling over with joy from the moment I woke up and that intense joy didn't fade away for a long time. Being in my husband's presence, becoming one, was my dream come true. After the church ceremony we ate and danced and ate and danced! I was so very blissful. I cannot even imagine someone announced a 'fast' on my wedding day. How sad that would have been. Jesus, the bridegroom was among us, among the disciples- it was a time of rejoicing, not fasting and sorrow, but Jesus tells them, there will be a time for it after He is taken from them. 
16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

I have read this often, in years past, and I don't think I have ever understood it until today. My commentary reads, "In ancient times goatskins were used to hold wine. As the fresh grape juice fermented, the wine would expand, and the new wine skins would stretch. But a used skin, already stretched, would break. Jesus brings newness that cannot be confined within the old forms." Jesus brought GRACE and grace cannot be put into the Law and the Law cannot be put over grace. Jesus brought a new Word of freedom for us and it's grace.

Pray with me:
Thank you Jesus that you call me to obey the Ten Commandments and live a life that glorifies you, but thank you too for your grace. Thank you for the celebration and the joy that comes in knowing you! Thank you for the freedom of sin and addictions. Thank you for making a new way for us. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

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