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Mark in Slow Motion 15

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, ‘Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?’ 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. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.

Καὶ ἦσαν οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάννου καὶ οἱ τῶν Φαρισαίων νηστεύοντες καὶ ἔρχονται καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Δια τί οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάννου καὶ οἱ τῶν Φαρισαίων νηστεύουσιν οἱ δὲ σοὶ μαθηταὶ οὐ νηστεύουσιν
καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Μὴ δύνανται οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ νυμφῶνος ἐν ᾧ ὁ νυμφίος μετ᾽ αὐτῶν ἐστιν νηστεύειν ὅσον χρόνον μεθ᾽ ἑαυτῶν ἔχουσιν τὸν νυμφίον οὐ δύνανται νηστεύειν
ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι ὅταν ἀπαρθῇ ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν ὁ νυμφίος καὶ τότε νηστεύσουσιν ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραῖς

people came and said to him – presumably these “people” are not John’s disciples and the Pharisees; they wouldn’t speak of themselves as, “why do [they]…?”

the disciples of the Pharisees – simply those who follow the Pharisees’ approach. This links to the preceding and following sections. It is omitted by Matthew

were fasting – present active participle; ongoing, habitual action. They would have fasted twice a week according to Luke Luke 18:12 (cf the Didache 8:1), but there is no other early evidence for this two-day discipline.

your disciples do not fast – this redounds on Jesus. Q has Jesus not fasting (Luke 7:31-35; Matthew 11:16-19)

wedding guests – οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ νυμφῶνος “sons of the bridechamber”; this can refer to all the guests or simply the attendants of the groom.

bridegroom – God is the spouse in the First Testament; Christ is the church’s bridegroom in the New Testament.

As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast – is not present in Matthew or Luke.

The days will come – a Passion prediction.

on that day – may refer to Mark’s community fasting on Friday (cf Didache 8:1)

As this year the Sunday Gospel reading focus is on St Mark’s Gospel, This is some of my personal study and Lectio Divina with that Gospel.

This is the fifteenth post in a series – you can begin here:
Mark in Slow Motion 1
Mark in Slow Motion 2
Mark in Slow Motion 3
Mark in Slow Motion 4
Mark in Slow Motion 5
Mark in Slow Motion 6
Mark in Slow Motion 7
Mark in Slow Motion 8
Mark in Slow Motion 9
Mark in Slow Motion 10
Mark in Slow Motion 11
Mark in Slow Motion 12
Mark in Slow Motion 13
Mark in Slow Motion 14

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