On fasting…

Posted: January 30, 2015 in devotionals

The people who are close to us have the ability to hurt us the most. Take the case of getting hurt. What hurts the most is when our own friends inflict pain on us, whether it is accidental or intentional. When the people whom we know questions us, it makes us think twice.

Read: Matthew 9:14-17

The disciples of John were the ones who were asking the question regarding fasting. They were supposed to be the ones who would be supportive of Jesus, not the ones who would be questioning him. The religious people were disturbed that Jesus ate with sinners (Mt. 9:11), and this time, some were disturbed that he ate at all (9:14). Holiness, for some, is avoiding eating with sinners. For others, holiness meant practicing a self-discipline such as fasting.

The issue at hand is this…

The disciples were not fasting. So how do we respond?

#1 Jesus fasted.

Jesus Christ fasted before his ministry began (Matt. 4:1-9). He fasted for 40 days. He taught on fasting in the “sermon on the mount” by saying “when you fast”, not “if you fast” (Matt. 6:16).

#2 The early church fasted.

Before Paul was sent off, the church in Antioch fasted (Acts 13:1-3). They fasted and prayed in preparation to sending out two men into missions. The church in Galatia also fasted (Acts 14:21-23). Now looking at the text, it says “in every church”, not just a single church, in which they prayed and fasted.

#3 There is a time for everything.

The disciples did not fast when Christ was around because the groom was around (Matt. 9:15). We don’t fast during a wedding feast, but we participate joyfully. In the same manner that when Christ was on earth, they did not fast because they were participating joyfully in the presence of Christ (the groom). It was inappropriate for groomsmen to fast until after a wedding banquet has ended. There is a time to fast (Matt. 9:15).

So there we have it. When we fast, may it not be to show people, rather, we fast because our Lord fasted. Fasting helps us become sensitive to the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2). Let us find the appropriate time to do so.


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