No fasting with the bridegroom present (Mt 9:15-9:15)

“Jesus said to them.

‘The wedding guests

Cannot mourn

As long as

The bridegroom

Is with them.

The days will come,

When the bridegroom

Is taken away

From them,

Then they will fast.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Μὴ δύνανται οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ νυμφῶνος πενθεῖν ἐφ’ ὅσον μετ’ αὐτῶν ἐστιν ὁ νυμφίος; ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι ὅταν ἀπαρθῇ ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ὁ νυμφίος, καὶ τότε νηστεύσουσιν.

 

This bridegroom story is almost the same as in Mark, chapter 2:19-20, and Luke, chapter 5:34-35.  Jesus spoke directly in response to the disciples of John (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He compared himself to a bridegroom (ὁ νυμφίος).  The wedding guests or the sons of the bride chamber were not able to mourn (Μὴ δύνανται οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ νυμφῶνος πενθεῖν), while the bridegroom, Jesus, was with them (ἐφ’ ὅσον μετ’ αὐτῶν ἐστιν ὁ νυμφίος).  However, when the days came when the bridegroom of Jesus was taken away from them (ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι ὅταν ἀπαρθῇ ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ὁ νυμφίος,), after his death, then they would fast (καὶ τότε νηστεύσουσιν).  Fasting would come when Jesus was gone.

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The call of the first two disciples (Mt 4:19-4:20)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Follow me!

I will make you

Fish for people.’

Immediately,

They left their nets.

They followed him.”

 

καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Δεῦτε ὀπίσω μου, καὶ ποιήσω ὑμᾶς ἁλεεῖς ἀνθρώπων.

 οἱ δὲ εὐθέως ἀφέντες τὰ δίκτυα ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ.

 

Matthew used Mark, chapter 1:17-18, to indicate that Jesus wanted these two fishermen brothers to follow him.  They were no longer going to fish for sea fish.  Jesus was going to make them fishers of human people (καὶ ποιήσω ὑμᾶς ἁλεεῖς ἀνθρώπων).  This was a like an Israelite prophetic call, since Jesus spoke directly to these two men (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς).  He issued an invitation, yet a command at the same time.  They were to follow after him (Δεῦτε ὀπίσω μου), no matter what.  They were to be on the hunt for humans, and not fish.  Like, the Hebrew prophets, their response was immediate (οἱ δὲ εὐθέως), without any hesitation.  They left their fishing nets (ἀφέντες τὰ δίκτυα), as they began to follow Jesus (ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ).  Thus, Simon Peter and Andrew, the fishing brothers of Galilee, became the first two disciples of Jesus.

The response of the three men (Dan 3:16-3:18)

“Shadrach,

Meshach,

Abednego,

Answered the king.

‘O King Nebuchadnezzar!

We have no need

To present

A defense

To you

In this matter.

If our God,

Whom we serve,

Is able

To deliver us

From the furnace

Of blazing fire,

As well as out of your hand,

O king!

Let him deliver us!

But if not!

Let it be known to you!

O king!

That we will not serve

Your gods.

We will not worship

The golden statue

That you have set up.’”

The 3 companions of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar clearly and directly. They were not going to present a defense of their actions. If their God was able or not able to get them out of the fiery furnace away from the king, so be it. There was no ambiguity for them. They were not going to serve his gods or worship his golden statue, case closed.

The words of Yahweh in the Temple (Ezek 43:7-43:7)

“He said to me.

‘Son of man!

This is the place

Of my throne.

This is the place

Of the soles

Of my feet.

I will reside

Among the people

Of Israel

Forever!

The house of Israel

Shall no more

Defile

My holy name.

Neither they,

Nor their kings,

By their prostitution,

By the corpses

Of their kings,

At their death,

Defile

My holy name.’”

Yahweh spoke directly to Ezekiel using his normal appellation, son of man. However, rather than an amorphous glorified God, he refers to himself in anthropomorphic terms. Yahweh was going to sit on a throne, like a king. The soles of his feet would walk in this place. He was going to live among his people, not just for a short time but forever. However, there was a caveat. They were not to defile his holy name. Neither the people or their kings should tarnish his sacred name with their prostitution and dead bodies of kings in his Temple.

The living spirit and the dry bones (Ezek 37:5-37:6)

“Thus says Yahweh God

To these bones.

‘I will cause the spirit

To enter you.

You shall live.

I will lay sinews

On you.

I will cause flesh

To come

Upon you.

I will cover you

With skin.

I will put the spirit

In you.

You shall live.

You shall know

That I am Yahweh.’”

The oracle of Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was directly to these bones. Yahweh was going to put the spirit or ruah in them. The three ideas of spirit, breath, or wind were encapsulated in this Hebrew word ruah. This ruah was going to enter these dry bones, so that they would live. Yahweh was also going to put muscles, sinews, flesh, and skin on these dry bones. However, it was the ruah, the Spirit of Yahweh, the breath of Yahweh, or the wind of Yahweh that gave them life. Then, of course, they would know that Yahweh was their God.

The future sign of Ezekiel (Ezek 24:25-24:27)

“You!

Son of man!

On the day

When I take

From them

Their stronghold,

Their joy,

Their glory,

The delight of their eyes,

Their heart’s affection,

Someone will come

To you.

I will take their sons.

I will take their daughters.

On that day,

One who has escaped

Will come

To you

To report

To you

The news.

On that day,

Your mouth

Shall be opened

To the one

Who has escaped.

You shall speak.

You will no longer

Be silent.

So you shall be a sign

To them.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh spoke directly to Ezekiel, the son of man. On a future day, Yahweh was going to bring down Jerusalem. The Israelites would lose their stronghold, their joy, their glory, the delight of their eyes, and their heart’s affection. They would also lose their sons and daughters. Someone, who had escaped from Jerusalem, would come to Ezekiel on that day with the report of the news about the fall of Jerusalem. On that day, Ezekiel would open his mouth to speak. He would not be silent anymore. Thus the actions of Ezekiel would a sign, so that everyone would know that Yahweh was in charge.