Among the crowd are some disciples of John the Baptist. They have come out of curiosity, wanting to see for themselves who this Jesus is that their master is supposed to be subordinate to. One asks, “Why don’t You and Your disciples fast like we do and like the Pharisees do?” Jesus, knowing that these people are sincere seekers and not hypocrites like many of the Pharisees and Sadducees, replies in a gentler manner, “Remember what John said to you about Me – that he is the best man but I am the Bridegroom. Do the wedding guests fast at the wedding reception? No, they rejoice, eating and drinking with the Bridegroom and His Bride. But when the Bridegroom is gone, then they will have many days of fasting and prayer for the long road ahead of them.”
“Think about it another way. I Am here to bring a change from the old ways of doing things. Moses gave you the law, and that is all you know. I come to bring a new way, a way that is greater than the law, and you find it hard to change. Nobody, after tearing a hole in their old clothing, will take a patch from a brand new garment and sew it onto the old one. The patch will shrink and tear a new hole, and the new garment will be ruined as well. Likewise, nobody puts new wine into old wineskins. The leather of the wineskins will fall apart and the wine will be spilled. People who are used to drinking the old wine are not likely to start drinking new, because they say, ‘Why change now? The old wine is just as good, if not better, than the new wine.’ Change is not easy for anyone, especially for people who revere the old ways. And so in order to do it right, without hurting people, it must be a gradual change.” John’s disciples look perplexed, as if they need time to process the information that has just been given to them, but satisfied. Slowly, the crowd disperses, even the grumbling Pharisees and Sadducees.
Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22, Luke 5:33-39