THE REPENTANT REJOICE
Lord, thank You that You invite me into this time with You.
Read Luke 5:33–39
Jesus Questioned About Fasting
33 They said to him, “John’s disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking.”
34 Jesus answered, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? 35 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.”
36 He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”
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 brings you joy? Who brings you joy? Thoughtfully, gratefully, joyfully, express to Jesus what he means to you.
In yesterday’s reading, the Pharisees raised concerns about who Jesus was feasting with; in today’s passage, they criticize Jesus for not insisting on fasting (33). The Law only prescribed fasting once a year, on the Day of Atonement, as a sign of repentance. The Pharisees, however, chose to fast twice a week and regarded this as evidence of their righteousness (cf. Luke 18:12).
The context of today’s confrontation is a celebration feast hosted by the ex-tax-collector Levi, who left everything to follow Jesus (5:28,29). While it is right to “mourn” our sin, forgiven sinners have every reason to rejoice, and to revel in their restored fellowship with God. Later, Jesus will present three parables that underline the inseparable relationship between our repentance and God’s rejoicing (Luke 15:5–7,9,10,32).
The Pharisees saw themselves as preserving the Law, but Jesus came to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17). Judaism pointed to and foreshadowed the coming of Jesus, in whom alone lies the “fullness” of grace and truth (John 1:14–17). But the overflowing new life that Jesus offers cannot be contained in the old wineskins of the Pharisaic way of thinking (37); it demands new thought-patterns, new practices.
Be expectant, be excited, and be open to new things that God wants to do in and through your life.
Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness and grace.
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