Amos 9:11-15; Matthew 9:14-17
The Old Way and the New (Mt 9:14-17)
In today’s Gospel, Matthew narrates a wonderful episode in which Jesus targets Pharisaical legalism with three sharp metaphors. The disciples of John the Baptist had come to ask Jesus, “How come we and the Pharisees fast a lot, but your disciples don't fast at all?"
Jesus responds with His first metaphor: "Wedding guests can't fast as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But sooner or later the bridegroom will be taken away from them. They will fast then, all right!" He is the bridegroom and His guests make up His Kingdom on earth, the People of God. He’s telling them that this “wedding” is a time for joy and celebration, not fasting! He is also saying that He, His teaching, and the “Way” He is proposing cannot be judged by the old, traditional standards rigidly adhered to by the one's asking, “Why don’t your followers fast?”