Have you ever had God ask you to change something that seems fine the way it is? At these times I just want to ask, “Why do you keep changing my ways?”
John’s disciples and the Pharisees sometimes fasted. One day some people came to Jesus and asked, “Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don’t fast?” Mark 2:18 (NLT)
What is the root core of the question in this verse? I don’t think its about fasting. I think it’s about why Jesus’ method of ministry was different than John the Baptist’s. Jesus came on the scene and changed the way ministry was done. Fasting had always been a sign of spirituality but Jesus wasn’t fasting. Instead, He went to parties and feasted!
Jesus is always changing how we do things. It can get frustrating. Also, when He asks me to change something in an area and I do it, I assume it is going to be the last change needed in that area! But before long He asks me to change it again. I am learning Jesus does not bring us to the ‘endpoint’ immediately because it would be too much of a change to do at once. He gives us intermediate steps which will eventually get us to the endpoint. Unfortunately, I don’t realize these intermediate steps are in fact intermediate and not the end.
Look at Jesus’ answer to the question in the verse above?
Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can’t fast while they are with the groom. But someday he will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. And who would patch an old garment with unshrunk cloth? For the new patch shrinks and pulls away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger hole than before. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. The wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine needs new wineskins.” Mark 2:19-22 (NLT)
What was Jesus’ answer? He basically said I am doing something bigger than you thought I was doing. I am not sure any of them understood what He was talking about. It was too much of a foreign concept. Celebrating with the groom? What does that mean? In the Old Testament you never considered being so intimate with the coming Messiah.
Old garments? New garments? Did Jesus just throw out the Old Testament by calling them old garments? New wine? He was prophesying about the Holy Spirit coming and indwelling man. It was obvious Jesus was doing something bigger than anyone had considered before.
The same thing applies to us today. Most of the time you will not understand why Jesus is asking you to change. But you can rest assure He is guiding you to something better than you have ever considered before.
So ask away. But realize you won’t probably won’t get an answer. Your answer will come when you arrive at the next destination and see the new model He is building.
Then He will ask you to change again.