“Then the disciples of John
came to him, saying, “Why do
we and the Pharisees fast, but
your disciples do not fast?”
And Jesus said to them,
“Can the wedding guests mourn as
long as the bridegroom is with them?”
He caught another one. The rest of us weathered fly-fisherman stood in amazement as he was catching them as quick as he could cast. The other eight or nine of us were catching nothing.
After his tenth fish, and my zero, I said, “Sir, if you don’t mind, what color are you using?”
I tied on a beautiful, orange, hand-crafted caddis that was indicative to the season. I adjusted my strike indicator to the perceived depth of where the trout were eating. Twenty casts later, with the last five exuding passive aggressive frustration, defeating the purpose of fly-fishing, I asked, “Okay mister, last question. What kind of fly are you using?”
John’s disciples and the Pharisees were frustrated that the followers of Jesus were not keeping up with all the religious rituals they were doing. They were fasting and tediously trying to keep not ten, but 613 laws. I can just see the white-knuckles, as they’re thinking, and trying to convince everyone else around them that because they’re so good about fasting, they have a monopoly on truth and a connection with God.
As cheese was to a handcrafted box of flies, the finished work of Christ is to white-knuckle rules and disciplines. Faith in God’s completed work to make the connection from his heart to ours by Jesus becoming our sin and giving us his righteousness is the key. The catch in this, the fish so to speak, is connection with God. Rituals and disciplines can help or aid in providing an opportunity connect, but they are not what make the connection. God has already done that. He brought the cheese. Will we use it?
By Aaron F. Jeffers