They intended to show him up as a bad teacher.
Luke 5: 33 – 39.
Tension and conflict between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders were frequent. Today’s passage is another of those unfortunate confrontations. On this occasion the Pharisees and scribes took issue with Jesus’s disciples whom they claimed did not fast and pray in the way that theirs and John’s disciples did.
Based on their history of conflict, we can safely say their accusation had nothing to do with Jesus’ disciples not fasting or praying but it was really an attack on Jesus himself. They intended to show him up as a bad teacher and witness who neither guided his disciples properly nor showed due reverence.
It would be a scandal for us to think that Jesus is a bad teacher or witness. In fact, other scripture passages say he is our only Teacher (Matthew 23: 10) and we should listen to him (Luke 9: 35). Today Jesus teaches us that fasting and prayer have their proper time and neither is based on mere preference or done for the wrong reason.