Doing or Believing?

 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” (Mt.9:14-17 ESV)

Religious people will continue to focus on their ‘doing’ in order to get into the kingdom of God. This is the old and unsuccessful way. Jesus changed the old and opened a new way. Now if you try to combine the two, it will be like patching up and old fabric with a piece of new fabric, or like storing new wine in an old wineskin. Result is disastrous.

Fasting was a sign of sorrow and grief which accompanied the wearing of sack cloth and sitting in ashes etc. Fasting as a ritual is practiced by the religious. It is characteristic of the dispensation of Law. As per the words of Jesus it will be characteristic of the Church age because the bridegroom Jesus Christ will be gone for awhile. While He was with the disciples on the earth they had no need to be grieved or sorrowful. The world will hate them as it hated the Lord Jesus Christ. But He has promised to return for His bride the Church, to take her with Him.  Once again, from that point, the need for fasting will be absolutely gone.

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