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Jesus Is Questioned About Fasting(A)

18 Now the ·followers [disciples] of John [C the Baptist; 1:4–8] and the Pharisees often fasted [C giving up eating for spiritual purposes]. ·Some people [L They] came to Jesus and said, “Why do John’s ·followers [disciples] and the ·followers [disciples] of the Pharisees often fast, but your ·followers [disciples] don’t?”

19 Jesus answered, “The ·friends of the bridegroom [or wedding guests; L children of the wedding hall] do not fast while the bridegroom is still with them [C Jesus is referring to himself; John 3:29; Rev. 19:7]. As long as the bridegroom is with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the ·time [L days] will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and ·then [in that day] they will fast.

21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth over a hole in an old ·coat [garment]. Otherwise, the patch will shrink and pull away—the new patch will pull away from the old ·coat [garment]. Then the ·hole [tear] will be worse. 22 Also, no one ever pours new wine into old ·leather bags [wineskins]. Otherwise, the new wine will break the ·bags [skins; C as the wine ferments and expands], and the wine will be ·ruined [lost] along with the ·bags [skins]. But new wine should be put into new ·leather bags [wineskins].”

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Jesus’ Followers Are Criticized(A)

14 Then the ·followers [disciples] of John [C the Baptist] came to Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees often fast [C giving up eating for spiritual purposes], but your ·followers [disciples] don’t?”

15 Jesus answered, “The ·friends of the bridegroom [or wedding guests; L children of the wedding hall] ·are not sad [L cannot mourn] while he is with them [C Jesus is referring to himself; John 3:29; Rev. 19:7]. But the ·time [L days] will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and then they will fast.

16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk [C new] cloth over a hole in an old ·coat [garment]. If he does, the patch will shrink and pull away from the ·coat [garment], making the ·hole [tear] worse. 17 Also, people never pour new wine into old ·leather bags [wineskins]. Otherwise, the ·bags [wineskins] will ·break [burst; C because the fermenting wine expands], the wine will spill, and the ·wine bags [wineskins] will be ruined. But people always pour new wine into ·new [fresh] ·wine bags [wineskins]. Then both ·will continue to be good [are preserved].”

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Jesus Answers a Question(A)

33 They said to Jesus, “John’s ·followers [disciples] often fast [C giving up eating for spiritual purposes] and pray, just as the ·Pharisees [or disciples of the Pharisees] do. But your ·followers [disciples] eat and drink all the time.”

34 Jesus said to them, “You cannot make the ·friends of the bridegroom [or wedding guests; L children of the wedding hall] fast while he is still with them. 35 But the ·time [L days] will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and ·then [L in those days] they will fast.”

36 Jesus told them this ·story [parable]: “No one ·takes [tears] cloth off a new ·coat [garment] to cover a hole in an old ·coat [garment]. If he does, he ·ruins [tears] the new ·coat [garment], and the cloth from the new will not match the old. 37 Also, no one pours new wine into old ·leather bags [wineskins]. Otherwise, the new wine will ·break [tear; burst; C because the fermenting new wine expands] the ·bags [wineskins], the wine will spill out, and the ·leather bags [wineskins] will be ruined. 38 [L But; Rather] New wine must be put into ·new [fresh] ·leather bags [wineskins]. 39 No one after drinking old wine wants new wine, because he says, ‘The old wine is ·better [fine; good].’” [C The religious leaders are content with the old ways of Judaism and not interested in the “new wine” (salvation blessings) of the Kingdom.]

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29 The bride belongs only to the bridegroom. But the ·friend who helps the bridegroom [or the best man] stands by and listens to him. He ·is thrilled [rejoices greatly] that he gets to hear the bridegroom’s voice. In the same way, ·I am really happy [L my joy is fulfilled; C in this analogy, John is the best man and Jesus is the bridegroom]. 30 He must ·become greater [increase], and I must ·become less important [decrease].

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