A Time to Fast and a Time to Rejoice (Through the Gospels)

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"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'” ^Matthew 9:15.

In this passage, John the Baptist’s disciples come to Jesus and ask Him why He and His disciples are not fasting, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” (Matthew 9:14). The reason why they ask this question is because John and his disciples would fast and pray for the coming of the Messiah. One of the mandates given to John was repentance and fasting in order to prepare God’s people to receive the coming of Jesus. 

This is where they made the mistake. Jesus is now here. The times have changed and it is now time to rejoice and celebrate. John’s disciples  were still stuck in what God did yesterday and could not discern what God was doing right in there midst. Different occasions call for different responses. 

While they were waiting for His arrival, they were called to fast and repent. However, now that Jesus was in their midst, they were supposed to be dancing with joy! You and I are in a dilemma. Different from John the Baptist we live in-between the tension of fasting and rejoicing. 

We rejoice when we think about what Christ has done on the Cross on our behalf. We must celebrate, dance and offer God an exuberant praise when we think about the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

On the other hand, we fast, pray and labor for His second coming. There is a longing in our hearts for eternity. In essence, we are all homesick; homesick for heaven, homesick for Jesus. There is a longing in our hearts that reminds us that Jesus is not here. We repent, fast and strive to see His Kingdom come on earth. I pray that God would teach us how to live in the tension of both worlds. A world of rejoicing and another world of mourning. Let the two worlds take us deeper into the heart of Jesus. God bless you. 

William ChungComment