The controversy stories begun in Mark 2:1 continue in 2:18 with a question about fasting. The Pharisees and their disciples fasted regularly, as did John the Baptist and his disciples. Why not Jesus’ disciples? Why were they feasting with “tax collectors and sinners”?
When the Royal Bridegroom is present, it is a time for joy and celebration, not mourning. The King has come, bringing the Kingdom. Everything must change.
Notes and audio can be found here.
Fabric worn and ragged and frayed:
New patch won’t stay
Against the old, washed, stretched and set
That won’t accept
Skin like an elderly beach bum
Won’t care to come
But newborn soft ferments with life
Like Man and wife,
Jesus was bringing into being the reality for which the Temple had been one of the great advance signposts: God’s sovereign and saving presence in the midst of His people. This was a time for looking forwards to the great things God was beginning to do, not backwards to the times when Israel had been punished for her failures and infidelities.
— N. T. Wright, Mark for Everyone, 25.
A relationship with Jesus is not a solemn, boring affair. It is a celebration, a spiritual banquet of joy and blessing! Of course we should be holy, but we must not be somber. We should be moral but not legalistic and righteous but not stern. Why? Because there is joy in Jesus! Christian, do not mourn when it is time to celebrate.
— Daniel Akin, Exalting Jesus in Mark, 55.