GOSPEL MEDITATION #178
Mark 2:18-22 – A Question About Fasting
- Find a quiet place without distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- From memory, determine the central points.
- The Day of Atonement – Leviticus 23:26-32 – was a day of fasting. For how long and both food and drink or food only – we do not know the actual nature of the practice.
- Fasting took on a life of its own and became so strange that Jesus commented on in Matthew 6:16-18 and pointed out that it had became a religious show.
- The Prophet Isaiah, 58:1-14, had done much the same nearly 8 centuries earlier.
- The Pharisees and John the Baptist’s followers fasted. Jesus’ followers did not so came the “WHY? Question.
- It was intended to fix blame, but Jesus gave three quick answers.
- He, the bridegroom was with the guests and a celebration was underway – no fasting.
- Unshrunk cloth is not to be put on old clothes as a patch when washed, a tear will be the result– Jesus’ words and deeds are unshrunk or new cloth.
- Old wineskins, already stretched by fermenting juice, must be used only one time. New wine requires new wineskins.
- Fasting was something that developed over the centuries and is not among the commandments. But religious people like rules and rituals so fasting took on a life of its own.
- Jesus points to a time, verse 20, when His followers will fast. That fast is described in Mark 8:34.