Saturday, June 15, 2024

2024.06.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ Matthew 9:14–17

Read Matthew 9:14–17

Questions from the Scripture text: Who come to Jesus in Matthew 9:14? Whom do they say fast? How much? For what do they want to know the reason—who do not fast? What illustration does Jesus give in the form of a question in Matthew 9:15? When does He say that His disciples will fast? With what illustration does He answer in Matthew 9:16? What happens when they try to match an old garment with a new patch? And with what illustration in Matthew 9:17? What happens if they try to use the old container with the new wine? But what happens if they use the new container with the new wine?

Why didn’t Jesus’s disciples fast? Matthew 9:14–17 prepares us for the morning sermon on the Lord’s Day. In these four verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that Jesus’s disciples didn’t fast, because Jesus was with them.

The only required fast day under the law of Moses as the Day of Atonement. But by the close of the Old Testament, the people were already keeping at least four regular fasts. Zechariah 8:19 taught that, when the Lord came to Zion, these would be set aside for joyous feasts. Jesus’s answer in Matthew 9:15 is especially suited to the disciples of John, who had asked the question. Their own teacher used this illustration to describe how Jesus is the Christ, the Bridegroom (cf. John 3:29–30). If fasting is a longing for the Lord, then when the Lord is with you is a time for feasting, not fasting. It would be the equivalent of someone saying that they are “fasting from the Lord’s Supper.” That is the time to take nourishment upon Him. That is the time to rejoice over Him and in fellowship with Him. It is not the time to abstain.

What Jesus goes on to say in Matthew 9:16-17 is that His arrival has changed everything. Like shrinking cloth or expanding skins/ wine, things could not be expected to continue the same, now that Jesus had come. God Himself had come and become a man in order to save us. God Himself had come as our new and forever High Priest. And when there is a change in priest-hood, there must also be a change in law (cf. Hebrews 7:12). It was no longer the “waiting” time. It was the rejoicing time!

Now, we wait for Him again. When we fast, in longing for God and dependence upon God, we do so in a way that is different than all prior fasting. We do so as those who long for Jesus and depend upon Jesus! Fasting is an act of worship, and Christians rightly worship the Lord Jesus.

When have you fasted in longing for Jesus and dependence upon Him? When have you fed upon Him?

Sample prayer:  Lord Jesus, we rejoice over you. We rejoice to be led in worship by You, as our Great High Priest. Grant unto us to enjoy how You have changed how we come to God and worship, we ask in Your own Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP22C “I’ll Praise You in the Gathering” or TPH45B “My Heart Does Overflow” 

No comments:

Post a Comment