How often did Jesus and his followers fast?
How many times did Jesus and the first generation of his disciples fast throughout his lifetime? Was it a one-time occurrence, or did it have a special focus on specific events or causes? Or was it something more routine and regular, something that was an intrinsic part of their religious practice? According to the majority of studies on the subject, fasting in the Old Testament was associated with specific festivals (such as the Day of Atonement), with particularly intense experiences (such as Moses’ 40-day experience in the presence of God on Mount Sinai), or with specific seasons or feelings.
In any of these passages, there is no evidence to support the notion that fasting was a frequent feature of regular religious activity.
Despite the fact that the Book of Tobit contains stories set in the eighth century BC, most academics assume it was written about the middle of the second century BC (most scholars date the book of Daniel to a similar period).
A little bit of righteousness is preferable to a lot of wickedness in most cases.
- Due to the fact that almsgiving rescues from death and cleanses the soul of every sin.
- One thing that stands out about this passage, especially when compared to earlier Old Testament writings, is that fasting has now become a regular aspect of religious practice.
- As a result, when you contribute to the poor, do not make a big deal about it.
- When you fast, don’t wear a solemn expression like the hypocrites.
- And, once again, it is expected that fasting is a regular, habitual component of one’s spiritual life rather than something that is only done on exceptional occasions.
- This appears to be the question on the lips of Jesus’ detractors in Luke 5.33, who state: ‘John’s disciples fast and pray frequently, as do the disciples of the Pharisees, but your disciples continue to eat and drink.’ Matthew looks to be trapped in the middle of Mark and Luke’s stories.
- In fact, Luke appears to take a particular interest in this recurring behavior pattern.
TheDidache, an early Christian teaching treatise that is probably dated to the late first century but was lost until it was rediscovered in the nineteenth century, states the following: Chapter 8: But do not associate your fasts with those of the hypocrites, who fast on the second and fifth days of the week, respectively.
- Do not pray in the manner of hypocrites, but rather in the manner prescribed by the Lord in his Gospel, as follows: … After that, there is a version of the Lord’s prayer that is extremely similar to the one found in Matthew’s Gospel (also known as ‘his Gospel’).
- They are Jews.
- Acts 13.2, which is another of Luke’s allusions to this practice, indicates that it is a common practice among the community of believers.
- One other piece of evidence supporting this approach comes from a somewhat unexpected source.
- Instead, fasting patterns revert to those found in the Old Testament, which is a good thing.
- Just as the early Jewish followers of Jesus began to establish themselves in opposition to mainstream Judaism, Rabbinical Judaism soon followed suit and began to define itself in opposition to the burgeoning movement for Jesus.
- Finally, it’s worth pondering on what this habit of fasting two days a week meant as a devotional practice in terms of its significance.
- The majority of people would have found no reason to fast, although select ascetic groups did practice fasting, but only as a symbol of their separation from the world.
Days of ‘feast’ celebrated a world created by God and all that was good in it; days of ‘fast’, on the other hand, symbolized repentance, mourning, and longing for deliverance—exactly the sort of practice you might adopt if you were looking forward to the coming of a Messiah and the beginning of the age to come.
- In fact, it’s exactly what you’d do if you were in the habit of praying ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’ every morning!
- (In a fantastic bit of synchronicity, Michael Mosley advises intermittent fasting on Mondays and Thursdays for the sake of his health!
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Why did Jesus fast?
QuestionAnswer Fasting is a practice that may be seen throughout the Bible. In the Bible, a fast is often defined as a voluntary, total abstention from eating for a certain period of time with the goal of devoting one’s time to pursuing God. Fasting allows us to deprive our flesh of what it craves, allowing us to concentrate more clearly on developing our souls. It doesn’t appear that Jesus fasted on a regular basis. He was really criticized for “eating and drinking” by his detractors (Matthew 11:19).
- This fast occurred soon after His baptism (Matthew 3:13), which marked the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.
- During his period of fasting, Jesus was subjected to several temptations by the devil.
- While Jesus’ flesh was at its most vulnerable during those forty days, He was subjected to unrelenting temptation from Satan.
- Satan also gave Him a way out of the situation (Matthew 4:3).
- In his example, Jesus proved to us that fasting can be beneficial to our spiritual well-being when we use it to come closer to God.
- “Jesus returned to Galilee in the strength of the Spirit,” says Luke 4:14 at the conclusion of the tale of this trying time.
- The miracles, deliverance of the afflicted, and conquest of death would not be based on His humanity, but on His divinity.
- He served as a model for those of us who “do not live in the realm of the body, but live in the realm of the Spirit,” as Paul put it (Romans 8:9).
- Questions regarding Jesus Christ (return to top of page) What was the reason for Jesus’ fasting?
How Long Did Jesus’ Fast in the Wilderness Last?
During his earthly ministry, Jesus fasted just once, according to the Bible, and that was on the day of Pentecost. According to the Gospel of Luke, shortly following his baptism, Jesus was taken by the Spirit into the desert, where he fasted for forty days (Luke 4:2). “Forty days and forty nights,” according to the Gospel of Matthew, was the length of the fast (Matthew 4:2).
When Jesus fasted, what exactly did he mean, and why did he choose to do so? In addition, what can we learn about spiritual disciplines and their function in our lives from Jesus’ fasting for 40 days and 40 nights?
When and How Long Did Jesus Fast?
Just after Jesus is baptized by John in the Jordan river, we are informed that heaven opens and the Spirit of God descends upon him, and the voice of God can be heard proclaiming, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” This is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 3:16-17). Afterwards, Jesus promptly departs for the desert, where he will be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1). According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit” when he was tested for forty days by the devil.
Many believe that the temptation helped Jesus prepare for his ministry.
Where Did Jesus Fast?
It is believed by scholars that Jesus fasted in the Judean wilderness, which is located close to the Jordan River. Temptation Mountain is an isolated and secluded location that overlooks the city but is steep and difficult to climb, according to legend, where the devil took him at one time. It is said to be the location where the devil kidnapped him at one point.
What Happens in This Story?
It is believed by scholars that Jesus fasted in the Judean wilderness, which is situated near the Jordan River. They think the high peak, where the devil brought him at one time, was known as the Mountain of Temptation. It is an isolated and quiet location that overlooks the city, but it is steep and difficult to ascend due to its location in the mountains.
Why Did Jesus Fast?
In the Judean wilderness, close to the Jordan River, scholars think that Jesus fasted. They say the high peak, where the devil brought him at one time, was known as the Mountain of Temptation. It is an isolated and lonely location that overlooks the city, but it is steep and difficult to ascend.
Did Jesus Drink Water or Eat Anything WhileFasting?
Fasting entails drastically decreasing one’s caloric intake, and in certain cases, completely eliminating it. We aren’t given any information on what is happening. Some academics believe Jesus ate nothing at all, which is consistent with the passage in Luke 4:2. Others believe he scavenged the bleak countryside for pieces of food that he had consumed very little of—virtually nothing. Because the fast simply mentions that he “ate nothing,” rather than that he “drank nothing,” the majority of scholars conclude that water was most likely consumed during this period.
How Did Jesus Fast for Forty Days?
Water and food are only needed for a few days, and individuals can do without water for a few weeks at the most, according to scientists. Forty days is a much longer period of time. According to the standard male lifespan, Jesus would not have survived forty days if he had only taken water and not eaten anything. He was not, however, a regular man; he was the Son of God who was empowered by the Holy Spirit and bestowed with miraculous powers, which enabled him to fast for as long was required.
Even if he had consumed some food throughout the fast, he would have been in a physically and psychologically debilitated position as a result of it.
During the fast, he is likely to have saved energy by moving around as little as he could. It’s likely that he prayed and meditated in the presence of the Lord throughout this period. When the devil arrived, he was well prepared.
What Is the Point of Fasting?
In the opinion of scientists, individuals can only live without water for a few days and without food for a few weeks at the most – forty days is a much longer period of time than that. If Jesus had been a regular man, he would not have survived for forty days if he only drank water and ate nothing else. He was not, however, a regular man; he was the Son of God who was empowered by the Holy Spirit and bestowed with supernatural powers, which enabled him to fast for whenever long was necessary.
The fast would have resulted in him being in a physically and mentally depleted state even if some food had been consumed.
Perhaps he went to the Lord’s presence and prayed and meditated for some time.
How Can We Do a Fast Today?
If you are interested in attempting a spiritual fast, keep in mind that you are not Jesus, and that going into the wilderness alone for forty days is not a suggested choice for you. There are, however, several safe methods of fasting that you can use. In the Bible, fasting is mentioned dozens of times as a method of prayer, of grieving, or of drawing closer to God. First and foremost, contact with a medical professional before fasting to ensure that you do it in a healthy manner. Following that, experts recommend that you begin with short durations of time at a time and work your way up to larger periods.
- It is more important to realize that the goal is to reach a state of bodily denial in order to better focus on your spiritual heart.
- Allow yourself to be honest and vulnerable with your Creator throughout this period of time.
- What we don’t know is whether Jesus fasted only once or whether this was a regular occurrence for him.
- In contrast, when Jesus emerged triumphant from the desert and into the presence of his heavenly Father, he was ready and eager to accomplish anything God asked of him—including dying on the Cross for the sins of all mankind.
- We can also learn about the necessity of spending time alone with God and about what we can learn when we walk away from bodily comfort and embrace difficulties for a period of time.
- What Is the Purpose of Fasting, Exactly?
- Her novel, The Memory Garden, was nominated for the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award, which she received for her work as a Christian novelist.
- Jessica Brodie’s fiction may be found at jessicabrodie.com, as well as her religious blog.
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The surprising truth about fasting for Lent
The excesses of the carnival have come to an end, and the cleanup has been accomplished. So starts the traditional time of abstinence that occurs at the beginning of each year. Lent is a 40-day period leading up to Easter, the holiest day in the Christian calendar, during which people swear to abstain from everything from drinking and smoking to nail-biting and overeating. Nonetheless, considering the historical significance of Jesus’ death from the very beginning of Christianity, it is rather unexpected that the practice of commemorating this momentous day has altered significantly over the past two thousand years – and in some unusual ways.
Lent in the New Testament
Today, Lent is associated with Jesus’ 40-day fast (Mark 1:13; Matthew 4:1–11; Luke 4:1–13), which was instituted by the apostles. Although Mark informs us that Jesus was tempted by Satan, it is in Matthew and Luke that the specifics of the temptation are laid out in greater detail. In all three of the narratives, Jesus is said to have gone without food for 40 days. According to Luke 4:5–8, the devil leads Jesus up to a mountain in order to entice him with the promise of an earthly kingdom (Matthew 4:8–10).
- Christians, like devotees of many other religions, have practiced fasting for centuries.
- The two had not previously been associated, which is unexpected given their proximity.
The holiness of hunger
Today, Lent is associated with Jesus’ 40-day fast (Mark 1:13; Matthew 4:1–11; Luke 4:1–13), which was instituted in the first century CE. Although Mark tells us that Jesus was tempted by Satan, it is in Matthew and Luke that the specifics of the temptation are laid out in greater depth. According to all three stories, Jesus went without nourishment for 40 days. (Luke 4:5–8; Matthew 4:8–10). The devil leads Jesus up to a mountain in order to entice him with an earthly kingdom. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, MS 425, fol.
Missal from France, ca.
A rare book and manuscript library housed in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University A lengthy tradition of fasting exists among Christians, as well as members of many other religions, dating back centuries.
The two had not previously been linked, which was surprising. Describe the sequence of events that led up to it.
The true origins of Lent
Fasting was mentioned in Christian writings as early as the second century, although different Christian organizations appear to have observed a variety of different sorts and lengths of fasts, and even within a church, there appeared to be divisions of opinion. Irenaeus of Lyons made a point of noting the variety: It is not just about the day that is under question, but also concerning the actual form of the fast that is being observed. Some believe they should fast one day, others two, and still others three or more; some, for that matter, believe that their day is comprised of 40 hours of daylight and darkness.
- It is thought to have been written in the first century AD.
- On the other hand, on Friday and Saturday, fast completely and do not eat or drink anything.
- It is interesting that this passage does not make the connection between a six-day fast and Easter and Jesus’s suffering, but it does not make the connection between a six-day fast and Jesus’s 40-day temptation as recounted in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
- Detail from the Temptation of Christ.
- As baptism grew more closely connected with Easter in the fourth century AD, it is conceivable that fasting during the three-week period leading up to baptism became more generalized to include those who were already Christians.
- The shifting customs linked with Lent may also be observed in Pope Francis’ recent declaration that women will be permitted to participate in the foot washing ritual, which commemorates Jesus’ washing of his disciples’ feet (John 13:1–20), as well as in other recent announcements.
In any case, it is apparent that many of the Christian feast days and fast days precede the religion, but that they have also been altered over time by the faith’s members as well. Furthermore, it serves as a reminder that nothing remains the same — including religious beliefs.
Why did Jesus fast?
Fasting was mentioned in Christian scriptures as early as the second century, although different Christian organizations appear to have observed a variety of different sorts and lengths of fasts, and even within a church, there appeared to be disagreements. Irenaeus of Lyons made a point of noting the wide range: It is not just about the day that is under question, but also about the exact form of the fast that is being debated. Many individuals believe that they should fast for one day, some for two days, and still others for three or more days; others, for that matter, believe that their day consists of 40 hours of daylight and darkness.
- In order to observe the fast, you must begin on Sunday, the tenth day of the week (the second day of the week) and continue until Friday, the fifth day of the week.
- Nevertheless, on Friday and Saturday, abstain from all food and drink.
- This scripture ties a six-day fast with Easter and with Jesus’s suffering, but, to my surprise, it does not connect a six-day fast with Jesus’s 40-day temptation as recounted in Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s accounts of the events.
- Christ being tempted in the wilderness.
Fasting was part of the three-week preparation period for becoming a Christian through baptism, and as baptism became more strongly associated with Easter in the fourth century AD, it is possible that fasting in the lead-up to Easter became more generalised to include people who were already Christians.
A recent declaration by Pope Francis, indicating a shift in the customs linked with Lent, is shown by the inclusion of women in the foot washing ritual, which commemorates Jesus’ washing of his disciples’ feet in John 13:1–20.
The fact remains that many of the feast and fast days observed by Christians predate the church, but that they have also been shaped by its members over time. In addition, it serves as a reminder that nothing, including religion, remains the same over time.
Answering Critical Questions: Why Did Jesus Fast for 40 Days by Micah Lovell
It is this last occurrence of the number 40 that we should pay particular attention to, since it is apparent that Jesus is immediately reacting to it when, following His baptism, He travels to the Judean desert to fast for 40 days in the wilderness. When it comes to preparation, purifying, concentration, and penitential prayer, fasting was exceedingly widespread in the ancient world and it continues to be common in modern times as a method of preparation. The act, on the other hand, is performed by Christians who are conscious of their own sinful nature and their need for compassion and grace.
- So, why does He observe a fast?
- Many parallels may be seen between the 40 days that Jesus spends in the desert and the Israelites’ wanderings in the wilderness, which occurred around 1500 years previous to Jesus’ birth.
- However, the people continued to grumble, including those who blatantly defied God’s instructions and exhibited their lack of confidence that God would continue to provide for them as He has in the past.
- Jesus refuses.
- Jesus need more than bodily sustenance in the midst of his temptation; He required the Living Bread of God to sustain him.
- The work of Jesus lays to rest the notion that any of us can entirely fight the forces of darkness on our own merits.
- However, they were a disappointing son, a son who continually rebelled; a prodigal son, who was only kept alive by the terrible kindness of the Father in heaven.
He is the Son of God with a capital “S,” the one who will emerge through His trial triumphant, when the other son of God has fallen short of the mark.
More importantly, the point being made is that Jesus, being filled with the Spirit and acting in obedience to the Father, defeats the power of sin by either conquering the curse or, in the instance of His dying on the cross, by becoming the curse for us.
His victory against Satan in the desert demonstrated the strength of God’s Word as a sustaining presence in the face of temptation and perplexity.
The Person of Jesus and His Identity When Jesus went on a physical fast, His humanity would have been in the most vulnerable imaginable situation.
However, in that time, instead of physical sustenance, Jesus feeds on God’s Word, which is the only thing that can keep Him going in the face of the evil prince.
When we pray in the name of Jesus, especially in times of personal weakness and despair, we have an intercessor who understands the sort of bodily weakness we are experiencing at the time.
Should we choose to fast today, this month, this year, or at any time in the future, we can rest assured that we have an advocate with the Father in the person of Jesus Christ the Righteous, who Himself fasted for 40 days and nights, who knows us completely and truly, and who promises to never leave us or forsake us, even in the moments when we feel weak.
As a result, let us observe the fast, and may we learn to rely not on our own strength, but rather on the strength of God’s Word, which we may obtain through prayer and petition.
Mr. Micah Lovell is the General Editor of Worthy of the Gospel, a Songtime Publication, and also contributes on a regular basis to Songtime’s website. Aside from that, he serves as the headmaster of Abington Christian Academy, a Classical Christian school in Pennsylvania.
Did Jesus drink water when He was fasting for 40 days?
Do you think Jesus drank water during His 40-day fasting period?
The events surrounding Christ’s temptation in the wilderness were documented by the gospel writers Matthew, Mark, and Luke. According to the three gospels, Jesus fasted for 40 days before succumbing to the temptation of Satan shortly after. Each gospel has certain details that are similar to all of them as well as those that are unique to each.
Individual Gospel Accounts
Therefore, some have asserted that the three gospels are at odds, yet a smart trial lawyer would anticipate that this is the case. Everyone reported various information since everyone had a different point of view when he wrote what he did. The prosecution would accuse three witnesses with collusion if they all reported exactly the same thing in a criminal trial. In reality, when all of the witnesses provide the exact same information, the majority of trial lawyers are dubious of the situation.
The benefit of reading all three gospels is that we obtain a more complete picture, with Luke providing us with the exact chronological order of events (Luke 1:3).
Did Christ Drink Water?
There is no mention of Jesus drinking water or sleeping in any of the gospels, although they do mention that he fasted or went without food on several occasions. Despite the fact that there are no references to Christ drinking water, it indicates that Jesus did drink water at some point. Medical professionals believe that the average man or woman cannot survive without water for more than 10 days; yet, some people have managed to survive for up to 21 days without water. We can survive for far longer periods of time without nourishment.
What is so great about Jesus’ temptation by Satan is that He was put to the test and did not fall prey to temptation and sin. Because we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but rather One who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet has come out unscathed. (NASB) Hebrews 4:15 is a verse that states that Jesus is without sin!
Jesus was tempted by Satan. Where can I discover the next time the devil put Jesus through his paces in the Bible? Is it possible that Jesus committed a sin?
Why Did Jesus Fast for Forty Days and Forty Nights? And Should We?
In Jesus’s trial, he was faced with temptation. I’m looking for the next time the devil put Jesus through his paces in the Bible. Is it possible that Jesus committed a mortal sin?
Preparing for Battle
Jesus was tempted by Satan, and he succumbed. Where can I locate the next time the devil put Jesus to the test in the Bible? Is it possible that Jesus sinned?
Don’t Explain It Away
It would be tempting to find an explanation for the entire incident. “Yeah,” one would think. “Well, sure.” “Jesus is the Son of God,” says the author. He has the ability to multiply fish and loaves of bread. Even though I’m a mere mortal, I’m not sure I could fast for forty days any longer than I could resurrect a man who had been dead in the tomb for four days. “Can you tell me what this has to do with me?” At least, that’s what I had a faint notion of for quite some time. It hadn’t occurred to me that what Jesus accomplished may serve as a paradigm for us as well in certain respects.
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- (See also Luke 4:2) The basic significance of a fast can be summarized as follows: Fasting meansnot eating.
- It is important to note that Satan appealed to Jesus’ hunger rather than His thirst.
- However, believe it or not, a healthy person can fast from food for up to forty days without ill effects.
- There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat.
(This is the real kicker.) I’ll explain how to accomplish this without resorting to torture in subsequent episodes.) The angels do arrive to minister to Jesus, but only after he has endured a long fast and been put through three tests by Satan.
What’s This Got to Do With Me?
This does not imply that you should embark on a forty-day fast consisting just of water, although you might if you put in the necessary preparation and planning. If fasting is not a key part of our lives, we will lose out on some of what God has in mind for us. Then why did Jesus not instruct us to fast if this is the case? Because He assumed that His disciples would do as He instructed them to do. In His Sermon on the Mount, which is included in the very next chapter of Matthew, Jesus addresses a large throng of people.
You should aim to be as unobtrusive as possible while giving charity, for example, rather than attempting to get recognition for it.
(Matthew 5:16; Mark 10:16) You see what I mean?
He concentrated on teaching how to perform all three in the most effective way.
One of the Best Reasons to Fast
Despite the fact that you could — with rigorous preparation and planning — undertake a forty-day water-only fast, this does not imply that you should. If fasting is not a key part of our lives, we will lose out on some of what God has planned for us. Then why did Jesus not instruct us to fast if this is the case. Why? Because He assumed that His disciples would do as He instructed them to do. Following this, Jesus delivers His Sermon on the Mount, which is recorded in Matthew 5:1-11. He informs them that God is concerned about what we do as well as the reasons behind what we do.
Instead of attempting to attract attention with your prayers, pray in secret.
(Matthew 5:16; Mark 10:45) See what I’m saying?
He was particularly concerned with demonstrating the most effective way to accomplish all three objectives.
What Does the Bible Say About Fasting?
- What exactly is fasting? How long should one fast and for how long should one fast
- Is it prescribed in the Bible to fast? Is there a difference between different types of fasting
- What foods am I allowed to consume when fasting
What is Fasting?
Is it necessary to fast? In what manner and for what length of time is a fast to be observed; Is it required to fast according to the Bible? Does fasting come in a variety of forms? How do I know what items to eat when fasting?
Reasons for Fasting
A natural reaction to times of sadness, grief, and mourning is loss of appetite, and fasting has traditionally been deemed suitable at these times. When Abner was slain, David fasted as a mark of mourning for him (2 Samuel 3:35).
At the time of Saul’s death, there was a seven-day fast (1 Samuel 31:13). A strong storm hit the ship carrying the apostle Paul, who was being taken to Rome as a prisoner of the Romans. Because they were afraid of dying, many on board did not eat for several days (Acts 27:18-20, 33-34).
It is through fasting that one becomes more humble and more receptive of God’s plan. In preparation for receiving the Ten Commandments, Moses fasted for forty days in the wilderness (Exodus 34:28). Daniel fasted for three weeks before he was granted a glimpse of the future (Daniel 10:2-6). Elijah fasted for forty days before he had a conversation with God (1 Kings19:8). Jesus fasted for forty days in order to prepare for His temptation by the devil on the third day (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13).
It is also recommended for building faith, particularly when combined with prayer.
Fasting, on the other hand, was not to be regarded an aim in and of itself, nor was it to be considered a replacement for obedience to God and doing good works (Isaiah 58:3-10).
Repentance and Atonement
When Jonah foretold the demise of Nineveh, the Ninevites fasted as a symbol of repentance in the hope that God would spare their city from destruction (Jonah 3:3-9). For the Israelites, the Day of Atonement was an annual day of rest and fasting that they were required to observe (Numbers 29:7). The Israelites regularly humbled themselves and fasted after committing a transgression in the hopes of restoring God’s favor (Judges 20:26, 1 Samuel 7:6).
Jesus’ Teachings on Fasting
They fasted as a show of repentance in the hope that God would spare their city when Jonah foretold the city’s doom, which he did (Jonah 3:3-9). It was an annual requirement for the Israelites to fast and rest on the Day of Atonement (Numbers 29:7). The Israelites regularly humbled themselves and fasted after committing a transgression in the aim of regaining God’s favor (Judges 20:26, 1 Samuel 7:6).
Fasting is mentioned in the following verses in certain earlier Bible versions: 21 However, this type of thing can only be gotten rid of via prayer and fasting. (KJV 1900; Matthew 17:21; NASB 2000) 29 And he explained to them that nothing other than prayer and fasting could bring forth this type of fruit. (KJV 1900; Mark 9:29; NIV 2000) 30 And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour, I prayed in my house, and, lo, a man in bright apparel appeared in front of me, saying, “I am Cornelius.” Acts 10:30 in the King James Version.
1 Corinthians 7:5 (KJV 1900; New International Version) Those allusions to fasting, on the other hand, are thought to be later additions that were not included in the original Bible texts.
Fasting Not Required
Fasting is mentioned in the following verses in some earlier Bible translations. 21 Although prayer and fasting are required, this kind cannot be cured by other means. Matt. 17:21 in the King James Version (KJV 1900). 29 It is only through prayer and fasting that this sort may manifest itself, he explained. The King James Version of Mark 9:29 (KJV 1900). 30 As a result of his fasting, Cornelius stated, “I was fasting till this hour four days ago; and at the ninth hour, I was praying in my house when, behold, a man dressed in bright attire stepped before me, saying, “I am Cornelius.” Acts 10:30 in the King James Version.) 5 Never defraud each other unless with permission for a time, in so that you may devote yourselves to fasting and prayer; and then come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your incontinence.
1 Corinthians 7:5 (KJV 1900; NASB 2000). It is considered that the allusions to fasting in the Bible were later additions that did not appear in the original Bible texts. 1 As a result, recent translations do not include allusions to fasting (Matthew 17:21, Mark 9:29, Acts 10:30, 1 Corinthians 7:5).
Fasting is taught differently in different churches. During Lent, many Catholics maintain customs of partial fasting that have been passed down through the generations (the period between Ash Wednesday and Easter). Even more fasting days are observed by Orthodox Christians. Fasting is not strictly enforced in most Protestant churches, and there are no established traditions or norms.
It is not known if the partial and symbolic fasts followed by various churches are harmful to one’s health. The use of more extreme fasting regimens, on the other hand, may result in a variety of health concerns, including death. Before commencing a fasting regimen, it is essential that you get medical guidance. 1 Wood, D. R. W., and Marshall, I. H. (1996). New Bible dictionary (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press (364). InterVarsity Press, Leicester, England, and Downers Grove, Illinois.
When You Fast, Part 3: Did Jesus Say Fasting Was Optional?
Hello, and welcome back! In the first two installments of this series, I discussed how fasting is miraculously beneficial to the body and mind, as well as some tips on how to begin, maintain, and complete a God-glorifying fast. In the third installment, I discussed how fasting is miraculously beneficial to the body and mind. Today, we’re going to talk about a difficult but vital lesson for every Christian: fasting should not be considered a choice for those who sincerely desire to be like Jesus Christ.
Jesus Assumed His Followers Would Fast
“When you go quickly.” – Matthew 6:16, 17 (NIV) “There will come a time when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and they will fast on that particular day.” – Mark 2:20 (NIV) There is no getting around the fact that the language is difficult. As may be seen in these two verses, Jesus appears to be presuming that His disciples will fast. “When” is represented by the Greek word ishotan in Matthew 6:16 and 17, which Strong’s Concordance defines as meaning “when,” “whenever,” “as long as,” and “as soon as” – the idea of “if” is obviously absent from the context of this passage.
- applied of things that one expects will truly occur, but the time of their occurrence he does not know for certain.” Doesn’t it seem fairly conclusive, does it?
- Hotan and hotan are the same word.
- In the same way that Jesus anticipates that His followers would contribute to the poor and pray, He anticipates that His followers will fast as well.
- Nonetheless, Jesus speaks about fasting in the same style, in the same verse, and in the same context as before.
- While being questioned about why He and His followers do not fast regularly like John the Baptist’s disciples or the Pharisees, Jesus compares their time together to a wedding party, but He then asserts firmly that His followers would begin to fast after He goes from this planet.
There are no mentions of future generations being exempted from the rule.
Fasting Means Abstaining From Food
In addition, I believe it is necessary to define what is meant by “fasting” in these passages. In fact, refraining from non-food activities such as watching television or the internet, or engaging in sexual relations, might be called “fasting.” Forms of fasting such as those listed above are legal and frequently helpful. That, however, is not what Jesus is referring about in Matthew 6 or Mark 2. Let’s take a look at the Greek language once more. As the Jews and the culture of the time would have understood it, the term “fast” in Matthew 6:16 and 17 solely refers to abstinence from food and drink (with the exception of water), as the word isnesteuo in the Greek translation.
For the record, I understand that for some people, refraining from meals totally is not an option due to certain health issues (diabetes, pregnancy, etc.).
However, for people for whom full food fasting is physiologically risky, there are a variety of healthful nutritional fasting solutions available.
Aren’t we supposed to be like Jesus?
It is universally agreed upon among Christ-followers that we should emulate Jesus as closely as possible. Peter encourages us to “follow in His footsteps” (1 Peter 2:21). In addition, one of the most significant examples Jesus set for us was the fast that he observed at the beginning of His earthly mission. Following those forty days of hard fasting (during which, according to Luke 4:2, “He ate nothing”), Jesus emerged from the wilderness as a spiritual juggernaut who swept throughout the globe.
If such a fast was required for the Son of God to go through in order to carry out His earthly ministry, what gives us the confidence to believe that we can walk “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14) without include fasting as a basic spiritual practice in our lives?
How long do you think it would take for you to become like Him?
Jesus Wasn’t the Only Example
The fasters from Scripture are like a “Who’s-Who” of the Bible in terms of their namesake. Moses (after 40 days on Mount Sinai) descended from the mountain with a radiant face. Elijah (who had been alive for 40 days) summoned fire from heaven. When Daniel was put into the lions’ den, he was able to close the jaws of the lions in 21 days. And the list goes on and on. Perhaps the most essential point I want to make is the last one. I usually point to the great men and women of faith throughout church history as examples of why fasting is necessary, especially in light of the fact that it is easy to mythologize Biblical characters.
In my spiritual disciplines classes, I’ve frequently challenged students to find one hero of the religion who was not a sprinter.
The list is a constant and unwavering source of inspiration.
The list might go on and on for days, if not weeks.
The vast majority of Christians are locked at a level of spirituality from which they will never be able to progress until they contemplate fasting.
No closer to God, and no different in your daily life than you were a few years ago?
I understand that today’s lesson is difficult, but I deliver the truth with love.
What are the practical spiritual advantages of this practice? What changes do we experience as a result of it? You do not want to miss out on this important information!