[Note: We regret the poor sound quality of this recording, but are presenting it here for the sake of completeness. See attached PDF transcript.]
Jesus dines with tax collectors and ‚Äúsinners‚ÄĚ and allows them to draw near to him. And instead of recognizing their need for forgiveness and Jesus' power to forgive, the Pharisees continue to fast for the coming of the kingdom.
So while Jesus and the tax collectors and ‚Äúsinners‚ÄĚ are feasting, the Pharisees and John's disciples are fasting. Their reasons for fasting may have been different. John's disciples may have been fasting since John was in prison.
But it is rather clear based on Jewish commentaries and writings that their fast was for the coming of the Messiah. They would typically fast 2 days a week to show their longing and expectation of the Messiah.
So they ask Jesus why he is not doing the same thing. For not only is he eating with sinners, but he is also not looking for the coming of the Messiah. Jesus responds saying, ‚ÄúCan the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. ‚ÄúThis response is puzzling and provocative.
The Pharisees would have acknowledged that you don't fast at a wedding. For a wedding was a festive time. It would have been inappropriate and insulting if the members of the wedding party would have fasted. So the Pharisees agree with Jesus statement, but they don't immediately understand how it applies. If this is a wedding feast, where is the bridegroom?