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#78 Confronting Contention

The Pharisees don’t speak to Jesus about their disapproval. They go to his disciples and question them about Jesus’ behavior, hoping to cause doubt and contention among them, knowing that will wound him more. This has Satan written all over it–using the same tactics as he had used in heaven. Drama and alienation are activated by his spirit.

Jesus doesn’t wait for his disciples to answer them. He speaks directly to the trouble makers. “The healthy don’t need a doctor, but the sick. So I’ve come to call sinners to change, not the righteous. Go and learn what God means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice’.”* Tactfully he exposes their hypocrisy.

They think highly of themselves and claim to know and teach God’s word but are ignorant of its spirit. They show this clearly by stirring up John’s disciples next, asking them why they fast when Jesus and his disciples don’t.

Jesus is annoyed with the Pharisees–John’s disciples are in sorrow.

So when the latter group come to Jesus and ask Him why his disciples don’t fast, he is very tender with them.

He doesn’t correct their ideas of fasting; he uses John’s words comparing Jesus to a bridegroom, his disciples to those attending the joyful event, adding, “When it is their time to fast, they will fast.”

This time was heaven for them, not their time to mourn. They needed to have grateful, open hearts to take in the joy and light of the Glory they were experiencing.

Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:16-20, Luke 5:30-35 *Isaiah 1:11-19t

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