Faithlife Sermons

Feasting With The Bridegroom

Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view

Main Point

The nearness and presence of Christ changes everything for those who follow him.


As we read the gospel accounts, one thing that always stands out is how people continually approach Jesus and ask him why his disciples are not doing things the way that everyone else does. Some of these include eating with unwashed hands, to plucking heads of grain to eat on the sabbath, and of course fasting.
Often these questions are not raised because of law breaking, but because of tradition breaking. Not all tradition is bad, just as not all tradition is good. But Jesus was not afraid to break from the traditions of the Pharisees in order to point people toward the actual word of God.

What is Fasting?

Fasting is to abstain, mostly from food for religious observance.
Biblical fasting most often includes setting aside normal activities, reducing the intake of food, in order to focus more clearly on prayer and drawing near to God.
This is not intermittent fasting or any other type that is popular in our culture with the focus on physical health.
The NT word to describe someone who is fasting is literally “one who is empty”.
It is often associated with a mournful attitude. People fasted in times of distress, pain, or repentance of sin that they have realized.
This includes Christ during his temptation Matthew 4:1-2
Matthew 4:1–2 ESV
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
The law commanded fasting only once a year during the day of atonement (Leviticus 16:29).
So fasting, outside of the day of atonement (which we no longer practice), is a spiritual discipline that can be practiced anytime the conscience of one of God’s people leads them to it.
Esther asked for the Jews to fast and pray as she approached the king.
Should we fast?
App: Fasting is a discipline that often gets neglected in the New Testament Church, but it still very much is worth practicing.
Fasting was practiced by the early church. Acts 13:2
Acts 13:2 ESV
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
It would do us well to remind ourselves that the richness of our food, entertainment, and other things that we are use to will not satisfy the deepest longing of our souls.

Why Were the Disciples Not Fasting?

Why do your disciples not fast? Seems like a valid question.
It was common practice, and John and the Pharisees were not wrong for practicing it if they were doing so in the right heart (Matthew 6:16-21) (Luke 18:12)
App: Spiritual disciplines are meant to produce humility in us.
Fasting, prayer, reading the word, and the rest are all meant for us to practice in order that we would draw near to God to show our dependance on him.
If practicing a spiritual discipline is causing pride to swell up in your heart, it is no longer “spiritual” and it is no longer helpful.
Matthew 6:16 ““And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”
Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
If the point of fasting is nearness to God, the disciples of Christ were nearer to him then they had ever been before, and thus fasting is unnecessary.
It was not a time for fasting, but for feasting.
When we are in glory with Christ, we will be feasting in his presence with joy, and his time on earth was a small taste of that for his disciples.

The New Wine of the Kingdom

Old Garments and New Wineskins
These illustration can be difficult for us to grasp because we are so disconnected from them.
Our clothing is all preshrunk and our wine is all in recycled bottles.
So what does Jesus mean by these odd illustrations? Especially given the context of why his disciples are not currently fasting?
Christ’s covenant and kingdom is a whole new garment and brand new wine in new wineskins.
He accomplished the work of law keeping in our place, became the sacrificial lamb for our atonement, and rose from the dead to prove that he has done it all effectively.
No one had ever done this before or established a covenant like this in with regard to administration and substance.
There were types and shadows throughout the OT that all pointed to Christ, but this New Covenant is just that…NEW!
App: Jesus is many things to us brothers and sisters, but one thing he will not be is a mere patch on the sin stained garment that is our souls.
He doesn’t want to dress up the curb appeal of your soul, he is moving in to renovate.
He had done what the law could not do Romans 8:3-4
Romans 8:3–4 ESV
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.


The bridegroom has now been taken away, and so we should fast. But one day we will feast with him and enjoy him in the most supreme way possible.
For now we suffer with him. For now we endure hardships and are daily faced with things in this life that tempt us, but they are broken cisterns that will never satisfy. And so we fast.
But even when we are not fasting, all the enjoyment of good food, entertainment, and any other of God’s good gifts will pale in comparison to when we are enjoying those things at his table, in his presence, worshiping the source of it all.
Do you want to be near him?
Related Media
Related Sermons