Explaining Matthew 9: 14 – 17!


Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
Based on the verse written by Luke, chapter 18 verse 12; the Pharisees (or at least this Pharisee) fast(s) twice in a week. They have become accustomed to do this and it have somehow become part of there custom/tradition/religion if I may. Now with both the Pharisees and the disciples of John addressing the issue of fasting often, one can almost assume that the disciples of John have undertaken to follow the same or a similar way of applying the act of fasting. For clarity on fasting, we should turn to Matthew 6 verse 16 -18 for guidance on how one’s appearance and behaviour should be when fasting. It is also good to know that fasting is good for the relationship between God and a person, in my opinion – fasting is a means to draw near to God, sacrificing things we usually hold onto, thus breaking away from the physical needs/wants and increasing the need/want to be more spiritual (closer to God). Fasting goes hand in hand with praying and worshipping God. According to the Pharisees and the disciples of John, Jesus’ disciples did not do this, but why not, one may think!
And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast
Jesus answers their question by asking them a question which they might not have understood. Can the friends of the bridegroom grieve if the bridegroom is with them? Hereafter He answers His own question; He’s saying that there will be a time when the groom will not be with them, this is when they will be fasting. What was He saying? Please bear in mind that fasting is about drawing near to God. If one understands that Jesus is God incarnate, this is easier to understand; why would it be a necessity for His disciples to draw near to God, when God is indeed with them in Spirit and in human form. Jesus made it clear so many times that He will go away, here He brings it up again that He would go away and when it happens; then His disciples would partake in fasting in need of drawing near to Him.

No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
In my opinion, He speaks to them about being born again, becoming new creations in Christ and they were not born again of Spirit and Truth, they were a very religious bunch. He spoke to them in a parable, and they might or might not have understood the meaning, but I think He was saying that in order for one to understand the spiritual way of living, one will have to be born again; of spirit and truth. One cannot expect to understand the things of God while hesitating to give one over to become a new creation in Him. A person can do all the good in the world, and (in our time) go to the church on every occasion, he will just put an immense amount of pressure on himself and it will all be on vain if he is not committing his life to Almighty God. Why will it be in vain, one may ask?, due to the fact that new wine (spiritual food) will enter into an old barrel (unrepentant soul), the barrel will be no good for the new wine, but once the spirit is renewed, the mind will be renewed as well. It will be like new wine (spiritual food) poured into a new barrel (born again person).
So the crux of the matter is; things need to be done for the right reasons, not to be seen/popular/for the sake of others/ acknowledged/religious, but for pure unselfish reason.

Referenced Verses KJV:
King James Version of the Bible
Matthew 9 verses 14 – 17:
Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. 16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. 17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
Luke 18 verse 9:
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Matthew 6 verses 16 – 18:
Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

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