Take time to rejoice in the Lord today.
Read Matthew 9:14–17
14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat gives you joy? How would you rate your current “joy” level in your relationship with the Lord?
The Pharisees and John and his followers took their relationship with God very seriously. Keeping the Old Testament Law included fasting on specific days (Lev. 23:32). The Pharisees went one step further, fasting twice a week for good measure so that they would be ready for God’s kingdom. John’s disciples imply that Jesus’ disciples are not serious about God (14).
Jesus’ reply reminds them and us that a relationship with God is not about following rules and regulations but enjoying God for who he is. Jesus’ reference to bridegrooms would have reminded John’s well-versed disciples of Isaiah 62:5, where God is compared to a bridegroom. Jesus’ point is clear: when God is present with you, enjoy him!
Jesus’ reference to wineskins and cloth signaled that God was doing something new. The shadow of the crucifixion lay ahead (15), but beyond that new truths would be revealed. When the Holy Spirit was poured out like new wine, at Pentecost, God opened up a new way to be present with his people always (Joel 2:28,29).
We have every reason to be joyful. The Spirit of the Lord has been poured out on us. Make a list of things you can rejoice about. Take it with you today and reflect on it any time you feel discouraged.
I praise You, God, for Your presence with me, giving me new life. Teach my heart to rejoice always.