In Luke 5:33-39, we witness another round of questioning from the Pharisees about the practices of Jesus disciples, while learning how his presence brings about a new era of redemptive history.
The Pharisees question why Jesus disciples do not fast like John the Baptist’s disciples (v.33-35). Fasting was a typical religious practice of the Old Testament (Lev. 16:24-31, Esther 4:1-3, Joel 1:13-14). Though not required by Scripture, it was the tradition of the Pharisees to fast twice a week (Luke 18:12). Jesus defends the lack of fasting among his disciples by indicating that his appearing justifies a feast, not a fast.
- How is Jesus a bridegroom, and his disciples wedding guests?
- What does it mean that that the bridegroom will be taken away, and then fasting will be appropriate?
- What benefit is intended by fasting? Should we still fast today? If so, how should we go about cultivating this practice in the life of our church?
In verses 36-39, Jesus illustrates the change inaugurated by his presence through the images of a garment and wineskins.
- How do these two images express the transition of the Old Covenant to the New Covenant?
- Is there any continuity between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant? With Bible in hand, talk this out with your HFG. Pay close attention to Hebrews 8-10.
- How is the New Covenant superior to the Old Covenant?