Text: Luke 5 (Leviticus 7-8)
In Jesus’ day, fasting was commonplace in the religious community. This would have been particularly true among those following John the Baptist as they were responding to the call to turn from their sin in somber sobriety. But Jesus’ followers were not that way. The religious elite, ever anxious to trip Jesus up, confront Him:
And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”
Fasting is a spiritual discipline that belongs in our lives today, but most Christians do not fast. This text gives us some insight. Fasting is a powerful way to increase our longing for the Lord and to deeply experience His presence. Combined with prayer, it opens spiritual pathways to better hear God’s leading and to receive strength for ordeals. Jesus points out that when the Lord is present, when Jesus’ followers are close, it is time to eat and drink and be festive. But when Jesus is far away, then it’s time to fast. This makes great sense. It is when we need a closer walk with the Lord that we ought to fast as we pray. For me, that is pretty often. How about you?
in Him, Mike