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Know God in a Year #78 Confronting Contention

The Pharisees don’t speak to Jesus about their disapproval of Matthew. They go to his disciples and question them about Jesus’ behavior, hoping to cause doubt and conflict among them, knowing that will wound him more. This has Satan’s fingerprints 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 in saying, ‘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 it clearly by stirring up John’s disciples next, “Why do you fast, when Jesus and his disciples don’t?”

Jesus is annoyed with the Pharisees–John’s disciples are in sorrow and should be respected.

So when the latter group comes to Jesus and asks 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 1:11-19

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