Read Matthew 9
Shift your focus from the Pharisees—that won’t be the last we hear from them—to some of John the Baptizer’s disciples. Some of his disciples came to follow Jesus. Some were still with John. John’s ministry continued but would decrease over time. Such is the life of the forerunner.
The disciples of John had questions. Why do the Pharisees fast but you don’t? Why do we fast but you don’t?
Jesus was direct about the matter. While I am with you, you should celebrate. This is a time for you to enjoy my presence. This is a precursor to the celebration that will follow in my Father’s Kingdom.
The time will come when you need to fast, but that time is not now. There is a time and a purpose for everything. This is not the time for fasting.
Jesus compared this to putting new wine into old skins. They will burst. New into new and old into old. You don’t fast when the bridegroom is with you.
Think back to Nehemiah and Ezra and others gathered after the return from Babylon and having the word of God read aloud to the people. Many were crying for they had neither heard nor abided in God’s word for a long time.
Ezra read God’s word and the people were crying but he told them not to cry, but to celebrate for this was a day holy to the Lord. Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites told the people that this was not the time to mourn. The law was being read among God’s people again. This was a time to celebrate.
Jesus told John’s disciples that a time will come to fast, but this is not the time. This is the time to enter into and know the Kingdom of God. This is the time to celebrate that the Son of God is with them.