Matt 9:14-17 The Bridegroom CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The disciples of John raised a question concerning fasting. They wanted to know why they and the Pharisees fasted often while the disciples of Jesus didn’t fast. So, Jesus took this opportunity not only to answer their question but also to teach them something else concerning himself.
The simple answer is that the disciples of Jesus weren’t going to fast as long as Jesus was with them. But when Jesus was taken away from them, they would fast. To get this across to them, he likened himself to a bridegroom. People in the bride’s chamber don’t fast while the bridegroom is with them. They fast when he is gone (Acts 13:2, 2 Cor 11:27).
Introducing himself to them as the bridegroom was a new deal to them. His coming as the bridegroom is something that concerned the New Testament, and a new way of doing things. So, he illustrated this by using a couple of common examples that they could understand.
According to verse 16, a man doesn’t fix a tear in an old garment by sewing in a new piece of cloth. When the new cloth shrinks, it tears the old garment. According to verse 17, new wine is not put into old bottles. The old bottles have already expanded to their full capacity. Thus new wine, when it expands during fermentation, will break the bottles since they have no more room to expand.
Likewise, a New Testament teaching concerning Jesus as the bridegroom doesn’t fit the Old Testament.
From the Bible, we see everything relating to the bridegroom from his appearance [first coming] to his reception following the wedding [marriage supper of the Lamb].
Presentation of the Bridegroom – Jn 3:29, Matt 9:15 – Jesus is with them.
Rejection of the Bridegroom – Matt 22:1-7 – Jesus was rejected by the Jews and, as a result, God sent Titus and the Romans into Jerusalem in 70 AD and killed the Jews and burned up the city. He was “taken from them,” (v.15) when he ascended into heaven.
Engagement of the Bride – 2 Cor 11:2, Eph 5:25-27 – Jesus’ bride is the church which is made up of all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Throughout the church age, many have been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ and will corporately be married to him after the rapture and before the 2nd Advent.
Invitation of the Guests to the Wedding – Matt 25:1-10; Matt 22:8-10 – during the tribulation, Jesus will return for a tribulation appearance to receive guests for the wedding. These guests come to the wedding in heaven by a Tribulation rapture.
Marriage of the Bride and Bridegroom – Rev 19:7-9 – The wedding takes place in heaven right before the 2nd Coming of Jesus (Rev 19:11-16).
Wedding Reception – Lk 12:35-38 – the bride and the bridegroom travel back to the earth for their wedding reception and Jesus himself serves those who attend the reception.