Worship is the means that God gave us for us to overcome our present reality, circumstances and limitations. When we live for God’s desire for world evangelism, we experience the fullness of life. Jesus came to this world to give us complete life so let’s have victory in his name. We see Jesus celebrating with Levi and the other tax collectors and the Pharisees questions Jesus why he’s celebrating with the unclean and the unrighteous.
God commanded the Israelites to fast once a year for the day of atonement, but the Pharisees fasted once a month, and then once a week and then twice a week, to show their righteousness. And everyone who could not meet their standard were considered unclean and unrighteous.
1.Throw away our spiritual pride
We can throw away our pride because we know we were all sinners and that we received God’s amazing grace and were completely restored by Jesus. However, when we hold on to our pride, we lose out on God’s blessings and his word. In the old testament, they needed to fast but in the scripture today, we see that they no longer need to fast for Jesus is here. However, the Pharisees were still stuck in their religious standard of righteousness. The Pharisees took the blessing that God gave them and added more and more requirements and turned faith into a burden.
We, too, can become stuck in a religious walk of faith like they did. Let’s let go of our pride, which makes us blind to God’s grace. If there is anything that hinders you from receiving grace, all of it is our pride and the more we cling to it, the more our souls die. Let’s not forget God loved us so much that he saved us and redeemed us. Let’s throw away our pride because we have received everything in Jesus. This is what it means to have a summit character, to have the character that God desires.
2. True fasting that God desires
Jesus tells them not to fast but that there is another time for fasting. “The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them and then they will fast in that day.” Wedding ceremonies and festivities back then lasted a week and no one fasted during that time. Jesus, the bridegroom, came to meet Israel, the bride. He tells them that when he leaves them, when he dies on the cross, is when they will fast. Some people fast out of frustration and desperation for God to answer them. Then, how do we fast? When we fast, God desires for us to have a prayer movement holding on to the covenant and being led by his Holy Spirit, as shown in Acts chapter 12-13. Throughout our lives, God must play a key part in all of the decisions we make.
3. Throw away our stubbornness and acknowledge Jesus as Messiah
“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins-and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”
Jesus is telling them that he cannot fit into the old frame and structure of the Pharisees, because it prevents us from truly enjoying Christ. As true children of God, God has given us a new identity, authority and direction for us to live. God called us not to continue living as we did previously, in darkness deceived by Satan, but to live with as a new creation in Christ. So many of us are stubborn, refusing to enter the light, but all we need to do is acknowledge Jesus as our Christ. Mark reminds us of this fact.
Then, what must we do?
First, let’s hold on to Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” It’s easy to say that the problem is other people and the church, but in reality, the problem is ourselves. Second, let’s restore Christ in our lives until we can overcome our surroundings and we can see beyond ourselves to the world. We need to open our eyes to see beyond the physical reality to the spiritual one, that God is alive, is with us and is working in our lives.
Remember, Jesus can change anyone and any old to new. Jesus is able to make any impossibility a possibility. Let’s prioritize restoring our spiritual system of daily worship. Then, God will be able to open up the doors to evangelism and disciples. Let’s let go of our pride, acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and restore the prayer movement.