1 John 4:10
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Mark records snapshots of Jesus’ life and words and the response of those who came into contact with Him.In the middle of chapter 2 people come to Jesus with a question about those that were following him.
“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?’ ”
The question is a reasonable one… people saw John’s disciples fast after the pattern of the Pharisees, so it would make sense that Jesus’ disciples should fast too.
Jesus wasn’t offended by their question but his answer was so much more than they expected. He answered using three analogies— a wedding, an old garment with a new patch, and old wineskins with new wine.
A WEDDING FEAST ISN’T THE TIME TO FAST
Fasting is a wonderful spiritual discipline. Jesus fasted and prayed often—but it wasn’t a ritual designed for others to see.
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Fasting: Fasting was an expression of humility before God. The Hebrew word for fast is tsowm, which means: "to cover over (the mouth), i.e. “to fast."
The Greek word for "fasting" is nesteuo, which means: "to abstain from food."
The Old Testament commanded Jews to fast only one day a year—Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement. (Leviticus 16:29, 31).
This fast was a time of remembering one's sins and the sins of Israel, and looking to God for forgiveness.
The Pharisees had taken a wonderful act of spiritual discipline and had changed it into a badge of super-self-righteousness.
Jesus said that while the Bride and Groom are together, that’s not the time to fast, it’s time to feast.
There was no reason for Jesus’ followers to mourn and fast while he was with them. They needed to enjoy His presence among them.
Lesson: The way to God isn’t through the disciplined practice of religious duties rather through a right relationship with Jesus!
“The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.”
The crucifixion of Jesus will be the appropriate time for mourning.
A NEW PATCH WILL RUIN AN OLD GARMENT
“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.”
NEW WINE WILL CRACK OLD WINESKINS
“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.”
What is Jesus teaching?
The new and the old cannot go together.
The Old Covenant is not compatible with the new and better covenant brought about by Jesus Christ.
What’s the difference between the Old and the New?
The Old Testament (Covenant) points to a Messiah (Isaiah 53), and the New Testament reveals the Messiah (John 4:25–26).
The Old Testament (Covenant) records the giving of God’s Law, and the New Testament shows how Jesus the Messiah fulfilled that Law (Matthew 5:17; Hebrews 10:9).
The Old Testament (Covenant) saw paradise was lost by Adam in the Garden in Eden through sin; the New Testament shows how paradise is regained through the second Adam (Christ) as our Savior.
The Old Testament 9 (Covenant) reveals that man was separated from God through sin (Genesis 3), and the New Testament declares that man can be restored in his relationship to God (Romans 3—6).
The Bottom Line
1. The New Covenant in Christ is internal not external. This life is fueled and led by the Holy Spirit of God.
2. The New Covenant in Christ is the forgiveness of sins.
3. The New Covenant in Christ gives us life that is eternal, totally secured by the love of God.
Lesson: Jesus did not come to patch up our old life; He came to give us a new life!