Jesus says the Law is all about Him! Fasting is about Him! A fast is a fast for His presence, as we long for Him; desiring Him, we withdraw from anything that might distract us from Him. The Sabbath is about Him – resting in Him, hoping in Him, leaning on Him. Listen now:
- Refraining from eating, in and of itself, is of no ultimate value. Millions of dieters and adherents of other religions do that all the time.
- Refraining from work on the Sabbath, in and of itself, is of no ultimate value. Millions of lazy people do that all the time.
Those are not characteristics of a true disciple – though a true disciple may well do both.
The Pharisees were mistaken. They exalted the form of Judaism, and forgot the main point.
- The Messiah was with them – they need not fast for Him!
- The reality behind the Sabbath was with them! He is what every Sabbath pictured – the rest of God available in Christ.
True religion is to recognize Him, to respond to Him – that’s what a true disciple does.