No fasting while the bridegroom was present (Mk 2:19-2:19)

“Jesus said to them.

‘The wedding guests

Cannot fast

While the bridegroom

Is with them.

Can they?

As long as they have

The bridegroom

With them,

They cannot fast.”


καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Μὴ δύνανται οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ νυμφῶνος ἐν ᾧ ὁ νυμφίος μετ’ αὐτῶν ἐστιν νηστεύειν; ὅσον χρόνον ἔχουσιν τὸν νυμφίον μετ’ αὐτῶν, οὐ δύνανται νηστεύειν.


Luke, chapter 5:34, and Matthew, chapter 9:15, are similar to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this saying of Jesus.  Matthew also spoke about mourning, since fasting was associated with distress.  Mark indicated that 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…νηστεύειν), while the bridegroom, Jesus, was with them (ἐν ᾧ ὁ νυμφίος μετ’ αὐτῶν ἐστιν).  As long as Jesus, the bridegroom, was around them, they were not able or could not fast (ὅσον χρόνον ἔχουσιν τὸν νυμφίον μετ’ αὐτῶν, οὐ δύναντα νηστεύειν).  This was a time of joy and good news, not fasting.