Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 5 Study # 2
July 29, 2007
34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bride chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?
35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
1901 ASV Translation:
34 And Jesus said unto them, Can ye make the sons of the bride-chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?
35 But the days will come; and when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, then will they fast in those days.
- I. Jesus' Response to This Third Accusation.
- A. From "blasphemy" to "associations" to "inadequate zeal"...
- 1. The "blasphemy" charge was related to "the forgiveness of sins".
- 2. The "associations" charge was related to "eating and drinking with undesirables" (a charge that ignores the reality that all revelation has a specific setting).
- 3. The "inadequate zeal" charge is related to "eating and drinking instead of fasting and praying" (a charge that ignores the reality that the legitimacy of behavior is governed by specific setting issues).
- B. The essence of the response was: behavior has a "suitability" factor.
- 1. In the celebration of an approaching wedding, acting like the world is coming to an end is unsuitable.
- 2. Once loss settles in, the grief of loss will make fasting a legitimate activity.
- C. The implications of the response: Jesus is the divine groom Who has come to seek His bride.
- 1. John the Baptizer said of Jesus, "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom" so that his disciples could understand the shifting "loyalties" of the crowds being baptized (John 3:25-36).
a. The "problem" was huge: the heavenly Groom had come and the people of the earth did not recognize Him, nor did they listen to Him (3:32).
- 1) Even John's "disciples" were not really picking up on John's identity and purpose: they were remaining "loyal" to John when it was his task to shift their loyalty to Jesus. It is an amazing thing how fixed are men upon the non-issues of Life (jealousy over who is getting all of the attention) while letting the real-issues of Life slide by unnoticed ("You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him'").
- 2) If those who had repented were so blind, what of those who had not? It is no wonder that Luke decided to present Jesus as "He Who gives sight to the blind" in his initial introduction of Jesus in Nazareth.
- b. The "problem" is enduring over the time frame of all of human history: there is a vast "great fixed gulf" between unvarnished Truth and the corruptions of deceit on this darkened planet.
- 1) The fact is that much (lest I say 'most') of what is considered "truth" in this world is, in fact, deceit.
- 2) Truth does not stand outside of its context so that no statement that is made is "true" unless it "fits" its divinely constructed context. "Having eyes, they see not; having ears, they hear not."
- 2. Paul declared that it was his task to prepare the bride for her Groom (2 Corinthians 11:2).