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Jesus Questioned About Fasting

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Dusty, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Jesus Questioned About Fasting

    Matthew 9:14-15

    Matthew 9:14-15

    Jesus Questioned About Fasting

    14Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" 15Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

    First of all don't get me wrong here cause fasting is still an important part of our Christianity - but it is no the end all - - be all , It is not because you or I are more righteous than any one else .

    Ok, let me explain where I am going with this . Only a relationship with God through Jesus Christ is our righteousness . OUr righteousness in knowing Him , is of upmost importance and does not depend on what we do . It depends on who we are in Jesus Christ and what He means in our life.

    When John's disciples asked Jesus why He does not fast , Jesus explained in a parable . He told them about as piece of unshrunken cloth on an old garment , making the tear worse and putting new wine into old wine skins making the wine skins burst and spilling the wine ... Matt 6:16 .

    What does patches of cloth and new and old wineskins have to do with fasting?

    In our minds we scratch our heads and can't understand until we go back to Jesus time . Jesus was trying to illustrate the contrast between the old system ( law) and the new because John's disciples were concentrating on fasting as a means of righteousness . Jesus was revealing true righteousness coming through a relationship with God , through faith in Him , not fasting.

    He was telling them there was an old system competing with a new system . And just as a new patch can't work on an old cloth or new wine put inot an old wineskin : the new saystem that Jesus introduced wasn't compatible or containable by the old .
  2. The thinking is also that in those days people were still hung up on all the old laws and Jesus was trying to tell them that He had come to fulfull all those laws and yes they were important but following Jesus is more important.

    It is the same today cause there are religions who fast out of trying to be righteous but not for the real reason. Fasting to us is a means of saying to Jesus that we believe what we are praying for and therefore want to give up our time and food solely to focus on Christ in prayer and genunine seriousness of the matter that we are believing God to answer.
  3. I agree with Dusty that fasting is not the end all - - be all. However, there is another way of looking at it.

    Fasting has medical benefits.

    And the bible does want us to be healthy:

    Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
    3 Jn 2

    Of course fasting is not applicable to all, like pregnant women. They should not fast.

    But fasting will not hurt us. Moses and Jesus did it (both for 40 days!). Paul as well fasted often enough:

    In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often
    1 Cor 11:27
  4. I'm a strong believer in fasting but it has to be a personal, God led thing. I am unable to fast on my own but only as the spirit leads and then it's easy. No one should be judged for not fasting, God doesn't call us all to do the same things.
    Jas virdee and Owen Johnston say Amen and like this.
  5. Amen , Don .... Thanks
  6. Fasting is to have time seeking God about something and not bother with the day to day things like eating or preparing it. But uninterrupted time with Him. It shows we are serious about what we are praying about, it helps subdue the flesh, and it causes us to become more sensitive to His voice. He will give revelation during this time

  7. Amen ... GodSpeaks
  8. "Fasting is a spiritual work in which we temporarily eliminate distractions so that we can give our undivided attention to our heavenly Father." -Charles Stanley
    Fasting is so important in the spiritual life! God continues to use it to refine my life.
  9. Amen alegator21
  10. Just to add another idea to this thread. I grew up in the Congregational Church (now part of the Uniting Church) and fasting was never mentioned.
  11. I think it is more important to read your bible rather than to just listen to what the preacher says. A church is good to help you grow in your faith and learn but you do have to do it yourself too. Don't just go to church or it won't help you much my friend. Try to get into the word, reading it as often as you can.
  12. Oh yes, I read the Bible. For example in Matthew 6:16-18 it says that one should not boast about fasting, it should be done secretly and only God should know about it. Perhaps that's why my fellow Congregationalists never mentioned the subject.
  13. Yes and fasting is personal, just between you and God.
  14. Literal and Spiritual Fasting

    * Mat 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
    * Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

    Very clear this was what SATAN saw in Jesus, with empty stomach He needed to eat bread. This is the "letter" of the word or literal meaning for FASTING.

    However, JESUS told Satan, and this is what "spiritual" or the "spirit" of the word for FASTING:

    * Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

    Long ago, "spiritual fasting" had been revealed already!

    * Jer 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD

    The foregoing is the message in the following:

    * 2 Cor 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
  15. As regards FASTING, it is a choice between:

    Human perception of the "written words" of God
    Demonstration by "divine revelation" from the written words of God

    * Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
  16. Yes, the "fast" is, above all, Keeping of the first four Commandments, and their Cultivation:

    Isaiah 58:6
    Is not this the fast that I have chosen?
    to loose the bands of wickedness - ie. to Unbind/Free the humans from (the) ties/contacts/connections of/with (the) other gods(idols) (see: Exodus 20:3),
    to undo the heavy burdens - ie. to Deduce/Exempt the humans from (the) false/negative/bad/unrighteous spiritual mentalities/notions/opinions/knowledge (see: Exodus 20:4-6),
    and to let the oppressed go free - ie. Route/Let the humans to Go in/to the True/Right Faith (see: Exodus 20:7),
    and that ye break every yoke? - ie. Soothe/Provide the humans with all Good that is Needed (see: Exodus 20:8-11).

    Matthew 23:23 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin(ie you are looking only about (the) spices for the men and ignore/miss the Main/True/Real meat/meal for them), and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment(ie (the) Righteousness/Equality), mercy(ie (the) Charity/Saving), and faith(ie (the) Devotion/Wholeheartedness): these ought ye to have done(ie the Full Holy Ensure/Salvation), and not to leave the other undone(ie (the) full Tithe/Social Insurance)."
  17. One of the Orthodox saints of the 1800s (its late and I can't remember who it was right now) said (and I paraphrase) "treat your spiritual life as if it were a business, if a things is not profitable to you do not do it, for some long fasts, for others prayer vigils, for some works of charity". The whole point being that one size does not fit all, and some have gifts that are different from others. In my case, due to having had cancer and now permanent poor health, fasting is meaningless, I fast every single day whether I like it or not. I would like to have a better prayer life, as I feel this is where I am most lacking.
  18. The Truth is that in the "fast(-ing)" there is not something which must be "winch(-ed)", but there is something which simply/just must be Keep/Kept, ie. there, has not something heavy that needs to be carried, but there, has only some Commandments which are not burdensome/heaviest/grievous, but his Commandments are just/simply, and they start with: Not to follow/take/serve anything from the unclean religion(-s)/spirituality and to Keep itself/ourselves Clean from the same. The "fast(-ing)" is simply/just direction/heading/cours/way, because the Purpose/Goal is just/only Salvation for all men/humans, and it is even/further here in this world now, but in the Faith there is not (for purpose/goal) any destruction for some of the men/humans.

    1 John 5:2-5 "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world(ie the unclean religion(-s)/spirituality): and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God(ie that there is only one Son of God, and He is exactly/only/namely Jesus)?",

    Romans 13:8-10 "Owe no man any thing(ie forgive and not judge), but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery(ie do not be intrusive like/as the bad adults), Thou shalt not kill(ie do not hurt/harm), Thou shalt not steal(ie do not bereave), Thou shalt not bear false witness(ie do not asperse), Thou shalt not covet(ie do not be malicious); and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.",

    Luke 9:51-56 "And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village."
  19. Since GOD is using the "language/dialect" of MAN with which the Holy Bible is written, thus:
    English to the Americans and British
    Spanish to the Spaniards
    Tagalog to the Filipinos
    etc. etc. etc.

    But GOD is speaking "His lingo" or in parables:

    * Ezekiel 20:49 Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?
    * Psalms 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

    True to what "is written" about this truth, Mark wrote:

    * Mark 4:34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

    Therefore, before giving meaning to the TOPIC on this Thread, we need to know first the "spiritual equivalent" of FASTING:

    * Matthew 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

    * Matthew 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

    To MAN, "fasting" is to omit food as when Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.

    * Matthew 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

    * Matthew 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

  20. Yes, the non-receiving of food may help in the Faith and not only, but usually for a short time, at least because later again may be necessary the receiving of food, while namely/only the Keeping of the Commandments is Lasting and True(-ly) spiritual(-ly). Otherwise, however much to starve, if the Commandments again are not Kept, then there will not be Achieved the Required effect.

    1 Timothy 4:8 "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."

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