Matthew 9:15 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
I picture these folks as pretty good guys. They were, after all, followers of John the Baptist so I figure they were interested in spiritual things and particularly how Jesus fit into what God was doing in their time. Still, what is the essence of their question? On one level it is about fasting and on another it is about how to seek after God. But on still another level might they not just be asking, “Why aren’t you like me?” “Why don’t you see things the way I do?” “Why don’t you affirm me by doing things the way I do them?” I feel like good people today, and I’ll put myself in that category, often respond to God and circumstances and other people with this type of mystified response. If you have invested time and energy and personal commitment on working out how a certain aspect of life or faith should be lived out then, of course, you are emotionally invested in the conclusion. So how can others not see the subject in the same way or, worse yet, not be all that interested in the whole topic? Jesus’ response was that something was going on right in front of them that they weren’t grasping- something new and different. We are never told how these folks responded to what Jesus said. Maybe that is because the gospel writers wanted us to be more concerned with our own response. This week, how often do you want, hope, expect others to see things the way you do? Is it possible God has different ideas?