Matthew 9:14 – 17
The disciples of John the Baptist and the Pharisees fast while this disciples of Jesus don’t.
Jesus is life!
Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life ( John 14:6)
Jesus came for us to have life, and life more abundantly ( John 10:10)
Anything that is not Jesus is basically not the way, not the truth and most likely related to death ( John 5:40).
In the presence of Jesus, is life. Therefore those in His presence are celebrating life because Jesus died ( took all that represents death – wages of sin) so as to give us life, abundant life, eternal life,…
While those not with Jesus ( in His presence) we fast because we long for His presence. We give up the fleshy desires that are contrary to the spirit so that our senses are more sensitive to experience more of Him. The flesh and the spirit are contrary to one another and therefore not compatible within us. The desires of the flesh are held in check by walking in the spirit ( Gal 5:16-17). Fasting enables us to live according to the spirit because where our mind is, our flesh will follow ( comply). Those that are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:8).
Romans 8 gives a good summary on the Spirit led life as opposed to the flesh/world led life.
The new law that came with Jesus is the law of the spirit of life and it has negated the previous law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
Possibly the Pharisees and the disciples of John the Baptist were still under the old law and through the Cross of Christ we are transferred to be under the new law. The old fasting principle under the law of Moses was for God to do for us.. something…??… as for the Pharisees it put the focus on us – see, I am fasting, I am doing this by my strength so that God can be pleased with me…
The new fasting principle under the law of the spirit of life is to focus on what Jesus has already done – the veil has been torn,we can boldly approach the throne of Grace and partake with Christ the blessings of the Lord while seated in heavenly places with Christ. It is for us to be focused on and sensitive to Jesus and the promptings of His Spirit so that we can adequately partake on the blessings He has for us.
Old law fasting focused on sin and death as the law demands we do something (eg a sacrifice) so that we may receive something e.g. mercy. New law fasting focuses on the Spirit of Life which is we receive a free gift of what God has made available for us by His Grace – getting what we don’t deserve.
Old law fasting would be out of fear – if I don’t do this, this will happen / the consequences are this… New law fasting would be out of love – I do out of love for the Lord.
The old and new fasting principles are therefore not compatible. New cloth patches would rip old clothing while new wine would burst old wine skins. We are either under law ( focused on self effort / flesh ) or under grace ( focused on Jesus / spirit ). Trying to mix the two within us would destroy us as Romans 8 explains that they are not compatible.
Can I contain the New Wine of the New covenant from Christ Jesus that came with Grace & Truth or am I tough and rigid and stuck to the old ways of the law of Moses or the traditions of men?
The new covenant / law of Jesus therefore requires the renewal of our minds ( Romans 12:2) for it to be applicable / effective in us living the abundant life.
# Lord I pray that You create in me a clean heart and renew steadfast spirit within me. I repent of any area of my life that I have gone or lived against Your Truth. Empower me to correctly divide the Word of Your Truth so that I am always living according to Your current / updated / relevant truth of the finished work of the Cross of Calvary – the death that put to death the old things / ways / bondages of my life and the resurrection that brought to life the new things of Your life into my life as a free gift that I receive by Grace through Faith. I die to self ( effort / will / flesh / world ) so that You Lord Jesus may live in me as You transform me into Your Image and Likeness from glory to glory. Indeed I declare and decree that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is the law that now and always operates in my life and family and it has negated / nullified the law of sin and death. I therefore believe and receive life and life more abundantly in all areas of my life including in my spiritual life, health, finances and relationships. I thank You Lord for Your Amazing Grace towards me and my family. Amen!