Jesus breaks the rule: associating with sinners—and uninvited, but it is the second confrontation that shows us the…
MAIN COURSE (Mark 2:18-20) 18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?” 19 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. 20 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.
Rule: You must fast! The Pharisees fasted two days a week for the world to see, their gaunt faces and obvious sacrifice, and Jesus response is kind of funny. My disciples fasting would be like going to a wedding and acting like it was a funeral. My disciples don’t need to fast, which was a way of getting closer to God, because they are following God in human form! Here was the big problem: the Pharisees had elevated Formula over Function—puffing themselves up with the appetizers-the law, that they had no room for the main course—Christ. The law, prophets, and psalms—meant to whet the appetite—prepare us for the presence of God.
The Associated Press told the story of a man in Pittsburgh, PA. Maybe to pay off a huge debt, maybe to live the life he always dream about, but he decided he would go into a grocery store and hand the clerk a counterfeit bill, if it worked he would walk out with real cash! This guy unlike a lot of crooks was playing it safe. He grabbed a pack of gum and handled the grocery store clerk, not a fake $10, fake $20 or $50, he used a counterfeit $1,000,000 bill. Now you got to pat the poor guy on the back for trying, but you are probably seeing some of the problems in his plan—for (1) A $1,000,000 bill is going to draw some attention, (2) most grocery store clerks (and probably banks) don’t have change for $1,000,000 after buying a pack of gum and (3) there is no such thing as a $1,000,000 bill, a $100 is the biggest.
That poor guy tried to make his money do something it couldn’t…In the same way, Pharisees tried to make the law do something it couldn’t. It couldn’t provide new life, it couldn’t provide transformation. It was meant to show a need for Christ, not provide a life outside of Him, but Jesus is clear about what can provide new life, John 6:54… He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” Talk about closeness—internalize—intimacy—being made full!
Christ allows us to internalize a relationship with him, just as he internalized our condition, oneness with humanity, closeness to our curse, going to the cross as our cure! Cleansing us of our old self and resurrecting a new life!