Fasting was an important aspect of Jesus’ teachings, and he often spoke about it with his disciples. In this article, we will explore what Jesus taught his disciples about fasting.
What is Fasting?
Before we dive into Jesus’ teachings about fasting, let’s first understand what fasting is. Fasting is the act of abstaining from food or drink for a certain period of time. It is often practiced for religious or spiritual reasons, but can also be done for health reasons.
Why did Jesus Fast?
Jesus himself fasted and used it as a way to connect with God. In the Bible, we see that Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness before beginning his ministry (Matthew 4:1-11). This shows us that fasting was important to him and he used it as a way to prepare himself for what was to come.
What did Jesus Teach His Disciples About Fasting?
Jesus taught his disciples about the importance of fasting, but he also warned them against doing it for show or as a way to impress others. In Matthew 6:16-18, he says:
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. “
In other words, Jesus taught his disciples that fasting should be done in secret and not as a way to gain attention or praise from others.
The Purpose of Fasting
Jesus also taught his disciples that fasting should not be done as a way to earn God’s favor or as a way to prove their devotion. In Luke 18:9-14, he tells the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.
The Pharisee boasted about his fasting and other religious practices, while the tax collector humbly asked for God’s mercy. Jesus concludes the parable by saying:
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
This shows us that fasting is not a way to earn God’s approval or impress others, but rather a way to humble ourselves before Him.
The Benefits of Fasting
While Jesus warned against doing it for show or as a way to earn favor, he also spoke about the benefits of fasting. In Matthew 17:21, he says:
“But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
This suggests that fasting can help us in our spiritual battles and strengthen our relationship with God.
In conclusion, Jesus taught his disciples that fasting should be done in secret and not as a way to gain attention or praise from others. He also warned against doing it for show or as a way to earn God’s approval.
However, he did speak about the benefits of fasting and used it himself as a way to connect with God. As we practice fasting today, let us do so with humility and sincerity before God.
- Fasting should not be done for show or gain attention
- It should not be done to earn favour from god
- Fasting is important for spiritual growth
- Fasting can help us in our spiritual battles and strengthen our relationship with God