Monday, March 30, 2015

Why Aren't Your Disciples Fasting? - Mark 2:18-22 Post 3

Chalkboard: Mark 2:18-22 Post 3
"Why aren't Your disciples fasting?" they ask (Mark 2:18). 

My thoughts keep returning to Levi's dinner (Mark 2:15) and how they were just there - maybe they're even still there.  Or maybe they're on their way home from the dinner.

It seems funny to me that others were at a dinner (or watching it) and yet are concerned with fasting.  Odd to think about fasting when we're celebrating. 

Maybe it was hard for them to watch others eat while they were fasting.  (Or maybe "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners" (Mark 2:16) didn't work, so they decided to try THIS question.)

But I keep wondering why they are fasting.  
There is a time for everything under heaven (Ecc.3:1).  There is a time to fast (Mark 2:20). But...

Is THIS a time to fast?  When Levi has just walked away from his booth, and followed You?  When he has invited all his friends to come celebrate with him and meet and be with You?  When You are in the midst of them? When You are calling for all of us to come?  When You are here...? (Mark 2:19).

Why are they fasting? Why would they even ask "Why aren't Your disciples fasting?"  Isn't it obvious that Your disciples aren't fasting because they're busy eating?  Because there's a time to eat (Ecc. 3:1), and this is it.

I wonder...Do I do this?  Watch the banquet and not let myself eat because I think it makes me somehow better than I am to sit and watch others eat  - and demand that they not eat, either because it makes me hungry to see them eating - and feel righteous because I'm depriving myself?   - Of WHAT?  
Deprive myself of this feast?

But THIS is the feast that I need.

The bridegroom is here (Mark 2:19) and You are inviting everyone to the banquet - to this feast - and that's why You're eating with tax collectors and sinners.  The Pharisees will not come (or will come but won't eat) and I don't know why John's disciples aren't eating (but I feel sorry for them) and their place is being filled with anyone - everyone - who will come and join the feast.  

This is it.

This is the betrothal feast.

The new wine is flowing. (Mark 2:22)
You are calling.
You are spreading the feast before us.
You are joining in it with us.

Now is the time to eat.

Welcome.  Come and eat.

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