Luke 5:34
And he said to them, Can you make the children of the bridal chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) Can ye make . . .?—The question is somewhat stronger in form than the simple, “Can the children of the bride-chamber fast?” in the other reports.

5:27-39 It was a wonder of Christ's grace, that he would call a publican to be his disciple and follower. It was a wonder of his grace, that the call was made so effectual. It was a wonder of his grace, that he came to call sinners to repentance, and to assure them of pardon. It was a wonder of his grace, that he so patiently bore the contradiction of sinners against himself and his disciples. It was a wonder of his grace, that he fixed the services of his disciples according to their strength and standing. The Lord trains up his people gradually for the trials allotted them; we should copy his example in dealing with the weak in faith, or the tempted believer.See this passage illustrated in the notes at Matthew 9:14-17.Lu 5:33-39. Fasting.

(See on [1577]Mt 9:14-17.)

The incongruities mentioned in Lu 5:36-38 were intended to illustrate the difference between the genius of the old and new economies, and the danger of mixing up the one with the other. As in the one case supposed, "the rent is made worse," and in the other, "the new wine is spilled," so by a mongrel mixture of the ascetic ritualism of the old with the spiritual freedom of the new economy, both are disfigured and destroyed. The additional parable in Lu 5:39, which is peculiar to Luke, has been variously interpreted. But the "new wine" seems plainly to be the evangelical freedom which Christ was introducing; and the old, the opposite spirit of Judaism: men long accustomed to the latter could not be expected "straightway"—all at once—to take a liking for the former; that is, "These inquiries about the difference between My disciples and the Pharisees," and even John's, are not surprising; they are the effect of a natural revulsion against sudden change, which time will cure; the new wine will itself in time become old, and so acquire all the added charms of antiquity. What lessons does this teach, on the one hand, to those who unreasonably cling to what is getting antiquated; and, on the other, to hasty reformers who have no patience with the timidity of their weaker brethren!

See Poole on "Luke 5:33" And he said unto them,.... The disciples of John, or the Scribes and Pharisees:

can ye make the children of the bride chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? signifying, that he was the bridegroom, and his disciples the children of the bride chamber; and that as it is unreasonable to expect, and morally impossible, that persons, attending the festivals of a nuptial solemnity, should be engaged in severe fastings; so it was not to be thought, that whilst Christ was corporeally present with his disciples, that they should be prevailed upon to live such an austere and mortified life.

{7} And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?

(7) Laws generally made without any consideration of circumstances; for fasting and other things of like sort are not only tyrannous but very harmful to the Church.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 5:34. μὴ δύνασθεποιῆσαι νησ., can ye make them fast? In Mt. and Mk., can they fast? Lk.’s form of the question points to the futility of prescriptions in the circumstances. The Master could not make His disciples fast even if He wished.34. the children of the bridechamber] The friends of the bridegroom—the paranymphs—who accompanied him to meet the bride and her maidens; Jdg 14:11. The question would be specially forcible to John’s disciples who had heard him speak of “the joy of the friend of the bridegroom” (John 3:29).

fast] St Matthew (Matthew 9:15) uses the word ‘mourn’ which makes the antithesis more striking (John 16:20).Luke 5:34. Μὴ, Surely ye cannot, can ye? make, etc.) As the Lat. num, this interrogation expects a negative answer.Verses 34, 35. - And he said unto them Can ye make the children of the bride-chamber fast, while the bridegroom is With them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. On this reply of the Lord Jesus Godet very beautifully writes. "In the midst of this feast of publicans, the heart of Jesus is overflowing with joy; it is one of the hours when his earthly life seems to his feeling like a marriage-day. But suddenly his countenance becomes overcast: the shadow of a painful vision passes across his brow: 'The days will come,'... said he, in a solemn tone. At the close of this nuptial week, the Bridegroom himself will be suddenly smitten and cut off; then will come the time of fasting for those who to-day are rejoicing; there will be no necessity to enjoin it. In this striking and poetic answer Jesus evidently announces his violent death." The imagery of the bridegroom is drawn from Hosea 2:19, 20, and perhaps also from the more mystical Scripture, Psalm 45. and the Song of Songs. Jesus here clearly regards himself as the Christ, as identical with the long looked-for Divine Deliverer; but at this comparatively early stage of his public career he was fully conscious that in his Person, with the triumphant would be joined the suffering Messiah. The word rendered "shall be taken away from (them)," ἀπαρθῆ, only occurs here in the New Testament; it points evidently to a death of violence. While the intimation given to Nicodemus (John 3:14) was the first private, so this seems to have been the first public announcement of the last scene of the earth-life. Children of the bride-chamber

Better, as Rev., sons (υἱοὺς). See on Mark 2:19.

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