1. Mark 2:20 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why will the disciples fast when Jesus is taken away?

Mark 2:20 (ESV)

20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.

John the Baptist had preached that the kingdom of heaven was near. His disciples expected it ardently with prayer and fasting. But Jesus introduces the present as the gospel. The joy of healing and grace surrounds him. And Jesus places that joy in the perspective of God’s calendar of feast days. With his disciples he is like a bridegroom. The bridal feast takes place because the marriage begins. Soon the bridegroom will enter the bridal chamber. By the use of a metaphor, Jesus indicates that the Son of Man will soon enter his kingdom. Why should the disciples fast and pray in that time? Because they will long to be allowed to follow him. Just like their present joy, their future fasting is focused on the bridegroom.1