Good and Bad Reasons

John the Baptist had many disciples.  Some defected to Jesus, which pleased John very much, but some stayed with him.  We read about John’s disciples all the way into the Book of Acts. 

One day, some of John’s disciples had a question for Jesus, Matthew 9:14 –

Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”

It’s a specific question, but a surface question.  There is another question.  The real question, which is, “Why do your disciples not do all of the religious things that we were taught to do?”

The equivalent would be like one of us saying to Jesus, “Why do you have corporate worship on Tuesday and not Wednesday, like us?”  or, “Why do you wear a robe when the rest of us wear slacks?” or, “Why do you sing five songs before opening prayer instead of two, like us?”

They did not like that Jesus did not keep their traditions.  Let’s be fair.  We don’t like it when people don’t keep our traditions either.  Before you get upset with me, first allow me to say, it’s ok to not like it when your traditions are broken.  Where it becomes wrong is when you not only don’t like it, but you then believe that it is not right.

It’s a tough pill to swallow.  It’s tough that other people can do religious stuff different than us and not be in the wrong.  We do the things we do the way that we do them because it is what seems most right to us. 

I heard a preacher say once, “We’ve focused so much on being the rightest that we’ve forgotten that we’re supposed to be the righteous.”  But if I’m right, doesn’t that mean that I’m righteous?  And if I’m right and righteous, and you do something different, doesn’t that mean that you’re wrong and unrighteous?  That’s what John’s disciples are asking Jesus.  They are not only confused about Jesus’ disciples not fasting, they’re wondering if the reason why they don’t fast is because Jesus is teaching them, falsely in their minds, to not fast.

Jesus gives them an astounding answer.  No, it is not wrong for them to not fast, in fact, Jesus replies that for them to fast at this time would be wrong.

They were right to ask their question.  You are right to ask when you have theological questions.  It is best to ask Jesus.  When you have questions, first, search the scriptures.  If you cannot find a satisfactory answer, ask someone like me who takes no greater pleasure than answering such questions.  Do not accept an answer to a theological question that cannot be found based on God’s Word.  Here is the greatest challenge:  When you find an answer to your question in Scripture, don’t reject it because it isn’t what you wanted or expected.  Don’t mold the Scripture into the image you want.  Allow it to mold you into the shape of Jesus.  It’s an illusion to think you can mold it anyway.

Some things we do because they are Biblical.  Some things we do are our traditions.  Sometimes they are both.  Sometimes they are neither.  My point is this: Know why you do what you do and if someone does something different, don’t jump to the conclusion that they are wrong.

Ya’ll are the greatest; did you know that?  Just one man’s opinion…

Wes LeFlore (918) 607-8489 or