Summary: if people prayed as much as they say they do, we would see God do some amazing things!
Food, Prayer,and Wineskins
The ministry of Jesus seems at times complex and confusing when you think of what He did and how He did it.
Remember a couple weeks ago, Jesus left this earth by way of ascension and told the disciples that He must go so the comforter could come.
In their own words, they said that was amazing and perplexing.
Jesus records His ministry in the gospels, this morning we are looking at Matthew 9.
We see Jesus calm a sea. (He tells us that we had little faith.)
He heals people from diseases, heals people from demon possession. (He tells us that our sins are forgiven.)
All the while that He is doing this, He is calling people to follow Him and do the same things.
Jesus shows up and there in town is a tax collector named Matthew, Jesus asks Him to “follow me.”
Matthew leaves his booth and follows him. He leaves everything behind and follows him.
The Pharisees saw this, not very much friends with Jesus, and they ask Jesus disciples “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus overhears the conversation and answers for them.
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means. I desire mercy, not sacrifice, For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Not that the Pharisees are healthy, but that people must recognize themselves as sinners before they can be spiritually healed.
Isn’t that like today? You’ll never be able to talk to someone about coming to Christ as Lord and Savior until they realize that they need a savior.
A good salesmen will get you to realize that you cannot live without whatever he/she is selling. Until then, they will have a hard time convincing you to spend your money.
The Pharisee’s, who were not healthy in the eyes of Jesus, approached Jesus disciples about eating with sinners and Jesus tells them that until they know they are sick, He can’t help them.
Then right after in a chain reaction of conversation John’s disciples come and ask Jesus disciples “How is it that we and the Pharisee’s fast, but your disciples do not fast.”
Wow, the Pharisee’s and Johns disciples in agreement about fasting and praying and they are wondering why Jesus own disciples are not fasting and praying.
The text this morning gives us the answer
Matthew chapter 9:14-9:17
Jesus answers the question of fasting by comparing it to a bridegroom.
“How can the guest of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, then they will fast.”
Background- a Jewish wedding was a joyous time and the celebration often lasted a week. it would be unthinkable to fast during the festivity because fasting was associated with sorrow.
Jesus the bridegroom would be taken from them by death, and then it would be appropriate to fast and pray.
John’s disciples were fasting and praying because John was taken from them and was in prison awaiting his fate.