February 22, 2005

Mark 2:18-22 Sermon Notes

Category: Bible - NT - Mark :: Permalink

Mark 2:18-22
(January 23, 2005 Sermon Notes)

Mark 2:1-3:6 is a chiasm, a pattern like a sandwich. Mark 2:1-10 deals with a healing and so does Mark 3:1-6. Mark 2:11-17 deals with eating and so does Mark 2:23-28. In the centre is our text, which explains both Jesus’ forgiveness and feasting with sinners (Mark 2:1-17) and His behaviour on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23-3:6). Jesus the Bridegroom makes everything new.


To many, Jesus not only feasted with the wrong people (2:11-17); He also feasted on the wrong days. The disciples of John and the Pharisees kept all the fasts connected with the fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple, and the death of the last king in David’s line (Zech. 8:19) and they certainly fasted before the Day of Atonement as God commanded Lev. 16).

But Jesus didn’t. Why not? How can He teach His disciples to feast when the faithful are fasting?

Jesus identifies Himself as Israel’s Bridegroom. His feasting is a wedding banquet. The disciples are the groomsmen. The people feasting with Jesus (even the “wrong people,” the sinners who follow Him) are the bride. And you don’t fast at a wedding feast.

What Israel had been longing for has happened at last. God had taken His people as His bride (Isa. 62:5; Hos. 2). It would be inappropriate to fast for the Day of Atonement when you have Jesus with you, Jesus who can forgive sins apart from the sacrifices (Mark 2:1-10), or to grieve the destruction of the temple and the fall of Jerusalem and the death of the last king in David’s line when you have the true Son of David who has been anointed as King and who is greater than the Temple and Jerusalem.

Here in church, we may not fast. We do repent of our sins and sorrow over them, but the service must end with joy and feasting at the Table.

Jesus then adds that His disciples will fast when He is taken away — a reference to His death (Isa. 53:8). Their fasting won’t be determined by the old calendar but by Jesus’ presence or absence. They will mourn, but their mourning will be turned into joy by Jesus’ resurrection (John 16:20).

CHANGE (2:21-22)

Jesus’ coming calls for a party, but that party is disruptive. Jesus is new cloth and can’t be used as a patch on an old garment. He is new wine and can’t refill old wineskins without bursting them. He didn’t come to reform the old system but to change it and make it new.

Those who try to fit Him into the Old Covenant and judge Him by that standard will find their system destroyed. But those who follow Him become new clothes (wedding clothes) and new wineskins, filled with new wine (see Acts 2:13). They are His bride and as such they must celebrate.

The Bridegroom is here and there is no room for sourness and gloom. The old things have passed away. Look! All things are new!

Posted by John Barach @ 6:28 pm | Discuss (0)

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