September 6, 2013
Things That Separate
Jesus paints himself as the bridegroom in his response to the question propounded in this gospel passage. While the bridegroom is present, the wedding guests do not need to fast. When one is with Christ, the bridegroom, there is no need for anything else but what pleases the bridegroom. He requires no sacrifice. It is only when the wedding guests are separated from the bridegroom, when the bridegroom will be taken from them, will they need to fast and sacrifice. We can be separated from Christ by sin. In those occasions, we need to do all things within our power, including fasting and sacrifice, to remove the things which separate us from Christ, so that we may again be like wedding guests in the presence of the bridegroom.
Jesus was teaching things about God which the people of his time found to be different from the things they were previously taught. The Mosaic law taught that God is a stern judge of the acts of man. Countless rules and practices were taught as part of worship of God. Matters of personal hygiene, like washing the hands before eating, prohibitions against eating fish without scales, and similar mundane matters, became part of religious rituals and obligations. The teaching of Jesus, therefore, was like a “new coat.” To tear a part of it would just damage the new coat but would not match the old one. It is like new wine that would burst an old skin. But those who have learned and gotten used to the old teachings would say, “the old is good” and went to the extent of crucifying him who taught the real things about God.
Lord Jesus, give us the grace to walk with you always, and remove the things which may separate us from you.