To fast or not to fast

Matthew Bible Background

New Testament: Mark 2.19–20

To read the Bible in a year, read Mark 2 on February 18, In the year of our Lord Christ 2020

By Don Ruhl

Someone asked Jesus why His disciples did not fast, because the one asking the question said that the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fasted, so why would the disciples of Jesus not fast. Jesus answered:

“Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”

– Mark 2.19–20

There is a time to fast and a time to eat. Therefore, Jesus did not command fasting, but knew that His disciples would do it naturally according to what was going on in their lives.

Questions:

  • Who is the bridegroom in the illustration?
  • What did Jesus mean that the bridegroom would be taken away from his friends?

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