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The IVP New Testament Commentary Series – A Time for Everything (9:14-17)
A Time for Everything (9:14-17)

Some religious people were disturbed that Jesus would eat with sinners (Mt 9:11); in a manner of speaking, others were disturbed that he ate at all (9:14). For some, holiness meant avoiding eating with ungodly people. For others, holiness meant religious practices of self-discipline like fasting. To both, Jesus undoubtedly appeared self-indulgent (11:19). Thus Jesus responds with three illustrations about appropriateness. When sinners return to God through Jesus' ministry, celebration rather than fasting is appropriate.

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