23. The Groom and the Groomsmen
The Importance of the
Gospel of God’s Kingdom
In Our Lives
The Parable of the Groom and His Groomsmen
(Matt 9:14-15, Mark 2:18-20, Luke 5:33-35).
This parable, and the next two, actually came out of a question asked of Jesus by the disciples of his cousin, John the Baptist. It was a question as to why the Pharisees fasted often, but his disciples did not fast. Jesus said that he, the bridegroom, was still with them so there was no need to fast. But when he was taken away later, then they would fast. There was really only one required annual fast for Israel which was on the atonement (Lev 23:27).
The point is that life in Jesus is like a royal wedding. Heaven and earth have become married. Thus the church is later called the bride of Christ. The Old Testament is about fasting, but in the New Testament we are given so much more.
We are even told we are married to Jesus (Rom 7:4). This is abiding in him as we saw in John 15:1-7. It’s being yoked to him we see in Matthew 11:28-30.
Hebrews says it is a better covenant. Sure, there may still be a need to fast in order to fine-tune your spirit to the Lord. But it is no longer a law. It has been abolished.
Now the law of faith governs (Rom 3:27).
“The just shall live by faith” is a New Testament battle-cry (Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38).
In Mark 7, Jesus speaks against traditions. But Jews didn’t like their religious traditions and beliefs messed with (Acts 16:20). But could Jesus have only seen fasting as an Old Testament law and tradition?
I’ve heard preachers say, “But Jesus has gone now. He’s in heaven. So now it’s time again to spend time fasting as he said in Matthew 9:15. But is this really true? Jesus said he would never leave us! He said it was BETTER for us he goes away because then the Holy Spirit would come!
If we truly believe the words of Jesus, as he says to,
what becomes with some of these issues like fasting?
We’re told that, even as we walk this earth,
we are also seated with Christ in heaven? (Eph 2:6).
Do traditions still override some gospel beliefs?
Remember: my purpose is not to totally discuss each parable. It is to only
show the gospel in each parable, and how it practically impacts us.