Matthew 6: 16 - 18
JESUS CHRIST was asked by the disciples of John, ''Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?''
He answered: ''Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the day will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.''
Immediately after His beautiful baptism He fasted forty days in the wilderness. Fasting was not experientially unknown to Him. Later He incorporated the principle in His matchless message on the mountain by saying, ''When you fast...'' In that same sermon He spoke of giving and praying and used the same word: ''when.'' He did not employ the word ''If'' but ''when.'' He did not command fasting but He did commend it.
In this age of fast food when our modern memorials are golden arches feasting is advocated but not fasting. Ours is a ''feel good'' generation. Self-indulgence is the mandate of the day. We seem to think that we owe it to ourselves to gratify our every appetite and strive to make ourselves feel good. Feasting is fashionable. Fasting is reserved primarily as a means of apply political pressure. It is a way of saying, ''If you don't do what I want I will starve myself.'' Rarely is it spoken of in a spiritual connotation. An appropriate questions is -- I.SHOULD WE FAST? Jesus said, ''When you fast...'' Thus, is indicated the way inwhich it should be done He endorsed the idea of doing it. ''When'' translates the Greek HOTAN, meaning ''whenever.''
Many Bible personalities did it. Moses fasted before receiving the commandments. David, the King fasted. Elijah the prophet. Daniel, the visionary. Paul, the missionary. Christ and His disciples did.
Great church reformers did, such as, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox. Evangelists D.L. Moody and Billy Graham also.
Questions number two deserves an answer --- II.WHAT IS FASTING? First, it is not a means of divine arm twisting. It ...
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