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Verses 14-15

Matthew 9:14-15. Then While he was at table, came to him the disciples of John, with those of the Pharisees, Mark 2:18; saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often Have frequently our days of solemn devotion, in which we fast, and offer up to God many prayers and supplications? but thy disciples fast not Not at all, or very seldom, but on the contrary eat and drink freely. “In the law, we find only one fast-day enjoined, namely, the tenth of the seventh month, on which the national atonement was made. But the Jews, of their own accord, observed many other days of fasting; (see Isaiah 58:3;) and in our Lord’s time, days of this kind were more frequent than ever, especially among the Pharisees, who, it seems, generally fasted twice a week; Luke 18:12; and therefore as Jesus did not pretend to teach his disciples a more lax kind of doctrine than that of John and the Pharisees, the disciples of the latter were surprised to find them overlooking so essential a duty.” Jesus said, Can the children of the bridechamber The companions of the bridegroom, mourn Mourning and fasting usually go together, as long as the bridegroom is with them? As if he had said, While I am with them, it is a festival time, a season of rejoicing, not mourning: or, as others paraphrase the words, As it would be improper for the guests at a wedding to fast and weep while the marriage solemnity continues; so it would be equally improper for my disciples to fast and mourn at the time when I am personally present with them to give them joy. But the days will come And are at no great distance, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, then shall they fast After I am gone, all my disciples likewise shall be in fastings often “Christ did not mean, as the Montanists affirm, that the Pharisaical fasts should be introduced into his Church when he was gone, but that his disciples should fast and mourn on account of the various calamities befalling them after his departure, and that they should repeat these fasts as often as the circumstances of distress and danger in which they were placed required it.” Macknight.

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