For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” -Isaiah 41:13
It is not the strength of your faith that saves you, but the strength of Him upon whom you rely. -Charles H. Spurgeon
And they said to Him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink.” And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? –Luke 5:33-34
The self-righteous Pharisees were concerned only about the outside and what other people thought. God looks at the heart and that’s where the Gospel takes effect. “To obey is better than sacrifice.” Obedience is a heart issue. And the heart of our problems is the problem of the heart.
vs. 33– These prayers and fasting were rituals for the Pharisees and were nothing more than a show for men. The religion of God’s kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. The Pharisees couldn’t figure out why Jesus’ followers were partying when they were “supposed” to be fasting. They were celebrating because God had tabernacled among them, pitched His tent, dwelt with them, and was doing awesome things. That was reason to rejoice and throw a party! (We also have reason to rejoice. Christ tabernacled with us and His Spirit dwells in us. 1 Corinthians 3:16)
Judaism is dead. It is just a bunch of rituals.
vs. 36-38– The Gospel will not patch up Judaism. They won’t mix because Judaism is a works-based salvation and the Gospel is grace-based, but produces works. The good new wine is forgiveness of sins and Christ living in & through you. (Salvation by law & grace don’t mix. Galatians 5:4)
vs. 39– Pharisees are so steeped in their ways that they don’t want to even hear the Gospel. They were steeped in their old traditions. (Mark 7:3-13)
You can’t mix works and grace. Salvation is ALL of grace! Jesus came to save the sinners, not the righteous. (vs. 32)