Sunday, February 22, 2015

Jesus' disciples do not fast

2.22.2015 First Sunday in Lent       Mark 2:18-28 Jesus explains why His disciples do not fast

Jesus explains why His disciples do not fast. They belong to a new era. Jesus justifies the lack of fasting by his disciples by His presence as the bridegroom. He is the Messiah. When He is no longer present, fasting will be resumed. Early Christians fasted on Fridays in commemoration of Good Friday while the Jews fasted on Mondays and Thursdays. The old must give way to the new. Jesus brings a new covenant, a new era, a new way of life based not on the Law but on the Spirit. Old Judaistic customs must yield to the new era. The new patch of Christ cannot be sewed on the old garment of Judaism. The new wine of Christ calls for new wineskins.[2]

The way of Christ cannot be blended with any other religion. So unique is the way of Christ that He calls for a new way of thinking. New cloth cannot be attached to old cloth. New wine cannot be placed in old wineskins. Salvation by grace alone will never fit with a religion of works. Our freedom in the Gospel is a polar opposite with a religion of works. “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son my Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.[3]

[1] Image by Ed Rioja © Higher Things
[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook  Series B, John Brokhoff, © 1981 pg. 85, CSS Publishing, Lima, OH
[3] Collect for First Sunday in Lent,

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