How Long Did Jesus and His Disciples Fast?

Fasting is a practice that has been observed by many religions throughout the world. In Christianity, fasting is seen as a way to deepen one’s relationship with God and to seek spiritual renewal. One of the most well-known examples of fasting in Christianity is Jesus’ 40-day fast in the wilderness.

But how long did Jesus and his disciples fast? Let’s take a closer look at this question.

The Bible on Fasting

The Bible mentions fasting numerous times, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the Old Testament, fasting was often associated with repentance and mourning, as well as seeking God’s guidance and protection. In the New Testament, Jesus spoke about fasting as a way to express devotion to God and to draw closer to Him.

Jesus’ 40-Day Fast

The most famous example of fasting in the Bible is Jesus’ 40-day fast in the wilderness. According to Matthew 4:2, “After fasting forty days and forty nights, he [Jesus] was hungry.” During this time, Jesus was being tempted by Satan, but he remained faithful to God.

This fast is often seen as a model for Christians who want to deepen their spiritual lives through fasting. However, it should be noted that this kind of prolonged fast should only be attempted under medical supervision.

The Disciples’ Fast

While there are no specific references in the Bible to how long Jesus’ disciples fasted, we do know that they practiced fasting regularly. In fact, when Jesus was asked by His disciples why they were unable to cast out a demon from a boy, He replied: “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29).

The early Christian church also practiced regular fasting as part of their spiritual discipline. The Didache (a first-century Christian document) advises believers to “fast on Wednesday and Friday” (Didache 8:1).

Fasting Today

Today, many Christians continue to observe fasting as a way to deepen their spiritual lives. Some churches have designated times of fasting, such as the season of Lent leading up to Easter, while others encourage individual believers to fast on their own.

Fasting can take many forms, from abstaining from food or certain types of food to giving up social media or other distractions. The goal of fasting is to draw closer to God and to seek His will for our lives.


While we don’t know exactly how long Jesus and His disciples fasted, we do know that they saw it as an important part of their spiritual lives. Whether we choose to fast for a few hours or several days, it’s clear that this practice can be a powerful way to deepen our relationship with God and seek His guidance in our lives.