“Heaven is where the unveiled glories of the Deity shall beat full upon us, and we forever sun ourselves in the smiles of God.”
Ezekiel Hopkins, “A Puritan Golden Treasury”
Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. (Mark 2:19)
This was Jesus’ idea. He was bringing correction to the lives of those who were very serious, and therefore most religious. Our native tendency is to asceticism. We evaluate ourselves religiously by our prayers and our fasts.
For serious people we have a serious religion, and we focus on doing serious religious activity, for that is what our serious faith demands.
Jesus pointed out that mournful faces are not indicators of a pious life. How can His disciples mourn when Jesus the bridegroom is nearby? His disciples are going to a wedding, not a funeral!
Without question the New Testament believers are to know repentance and self-examination. We should grieve over our sin, but that grief is to be based in hope, and in joy. If you are saddened by sin, that sadness must be tethered to joy and not to despair. Jesus has revolutionized forever the nature of religious faith.
The disciples could not mourn and fast while Jesus was present. He does not wish His disciples to go mourning and fasting when they have no occasion for such exercises. His words are a defense of Christian joyfulness. Christ wants His friends to be glad. There is an utter incongruity in a sad and mournful Christian life. It does not make sense in the light of what Jesus has done.
Our sins have been forgiven. We have been dipped into the righteousness of the Son of God. The fierce enemies of our souls have been eradicated by Jesus. All of this is to bring out a song from a grateful heart. We revel in the smile of Jesus and walk under the banner of a wonderful love. We have His forgiveness and been given His favor. We should be radiant!
I pray that you would rejoice in this wonderful day He has made.
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