The sons of the bridechamber (oi uioi tou numpwno). Not merely the groomsmen, but the guests also, the paranymp (paranumpoi of the old Greek). Jesus here adopts the Baptist's own metaphor ( John 3:29 ), changing the friend of the bridegroom (o pilo tou numpiou) to sons of the bridechamber. Jesus identifies himself with the bridegroom of the O.T. ( Hosea 2:21 ), God in his covenant relation with Israel (Swete). Mourning does not suit the wedding feast. Mark, Matthew, and Luke all give the three parables (bridegroom, unfulled cloth, new wineskins) illustrating and defending the conduct of Jesus in feasting with Levi on a Jewish fast-day. Luke 5:36 calls these parables. Jesus here seems iconoclastic to the ecclesiastics and revolutionary in emphasis on the spiritual instead of the ritualistic and ceremonial.