"Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious..."
Text: 1 Peter 2:7a
THREE UNPLEASANT ENCOUNTERS
Mark recorded three unpleasant encounters that Jesus had with those who did not fully understand or appreciate Him.
1. The scribes
Their issue with Jesus was His pronouncement of forgiveness to the paralytic (Cf. Mark 2:1-12). They did not believe that Jesus should tell the paralytic that his sins were forgiven!
2. The scribes and Pharisees
Their contention with Jesus was His association with the “tax collectors and sinners”. They were not happy that Jesus dined with them (Cf. Mark 2:13-16).
3. The disciples of John and of the Pharisees
They were unhappy that while they had to practise fasting, the disciples of Jesus seemed to be having a good time feasting. How could Jesus have not taught His disciples about fasting?
THE PROFOUND REPLY OF JESUS
Jesus was not embarrassed in the least when confronted by the disciples of John and the Pharisees. He was not guilty of any wrong-doing when He ate and drank with Levi and his set of friends. His answer to those who queried Him must have been quite astonishing.
“And Jesus said to them,
‘Can the friends of the bridegroom fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them
they cannot fast.'”
1. What was this reference to the bridegroom?
a) Jesus is merely using the word “bridegroom” as an illustration.
b) Jesus is borrowing the language and imagery of Hosea the prophet.
i) God is described as “Husband” in His relationship with Israel (Cf. Hosea 2:16).
ii) God speaks of being betrothed to Israel in faithfulness (Cf. Hosea 2:19-20).
2. The disciples of Jesus were called “friends of the bridegroom”
The actual word used in the Greek text describes them as “sons of the bridegroom” meaning that they were “family”. Why should there not be celebration when the Divine Bridegroom has come to Israel?