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Christ Jesus Challenges Questions About His Disciples Not Fasting as the Other ‘righteous’ Followers Did

I am a Christian teacher of God's Word. I value the Gift he gave us and wish to share that knowledge with many of the lost needing salvation


What are you fasting for?

Please read your favorite Bible translation of Mark 2:18-20 (reference: Matthew 9:14-15; Luke 5:33-35; Isaiah 58:1-5)

Isaiah 58:5, paraphrased

“On the day that you fast, you do as you please. You oppress workers. You fast with contention and strife seeking to strike viciously with your fists. You cannot fast that way and expect to have your verse voices heard on high.”

Recently, I took up the habit of intermittent fasting to help manage my diabetes better.

While it is not true fasting, it did help me recover from a recent health battle with CHF and fluid weight gain that was associated with the illness. I have since lost the fluid and now I continue to do the intermittent fast four to five days a week. After I recover from the open-heart surgery in June, I plan on fasting regularly for the other spiritual and health benefits a complete fast offers.

Aside from the religious benefits of fasting, a short, complete fast can be beneficial to your health.

An effective fast can cleanse your body of toxins and cause gluconeogenesis, the process where the body creates its own sugar when it does not get them from carbohydrates. That is because the liver converts non-carbohydrates such as fats into glucose energy. Ketosis, which is the process of burning stored fat for energy, occurs later in the fast.

The prophet Isaiah addressed this problem in Isaiah 58:1-5.

Although spiritual fasting was a large part of the Jewish culture of the Old and New Testaments, there were some who practiced it as a ritual rather than a spiritual experience. Around the time of this writing, the Israelites were suffering under the harsh treatment of their enemies. They should have been willing to turn their hearts upon Yahweh God because He was very angry with them.

That does not mean He was abandoning them, however. He recognized that they delighted to know Him and practice to do what was right in the eyes of their Heavenly Father. They even questioned whether He noticed when they fasted or humble themselves. In reply He said, “On the day that you fast, you do as you please. You oppress workers. You fast with contention and strife seeking to strike viciously with your fists. You cannot fast that way and expect to have your verse voices heard on high.”

The spiritual gifts of fasting, however, far outweigh that of health benefits.

Denying your physical needs can shift your reliance upon material things to spiritual faith. Fasting for spiritual growth combined with regular prayer helps one grow closer to Yahweh God. Choosing to fast for spiritual growth shows our desperation to have that stronger relationship with our Heavenly Father and to allow Him to take total care of us. By freely choosing to fast, we also show a willingness to invite the Holy Spirit to endow us with the Fruits of the Spirit given to us through our faith in Christ Jesus. A proper spiritual fast can open your heart to hear the voice of Yahweh God’s instruction for your life.

There is a difference between true fasting and ritual fasting.

John the Baptist emphasized following the Jewish regimen of fasting, only his instruction for his disciples included a communion with Yahweh God. This involved the heart and a reliance upon the Almighty to provide for the nutritional needs of the human body during the fast. The Pharisees focus was upon the ritual and the semblance of pious suffering in the eyes of the people who observed them. They had lost the focus upon the spirit and cleansing that the fast originally intended to provide. Jesus taught His disciples that a fast properly observed was good for the soul, but not a rule to be observed ritually (Matthew 9:14; Mark 2:18; Luke 5:33).

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What was Christ Jesus talking about here?

His answer to the question the people asked might seem perplexing to some. Why was He referring to Himself as the Bridegroom? The guests He referred to were His disciples and the many followers who listened to His teachings. While He was here on earth, there did not exist among them a need to purge themselves of worldly influences. The power of the Holy Spirit flowed out from Him and overwhelmed the powers of darkness that tried vainly to weaken His authority and the growing faith of His followers. Those who were truly and faithfully redeemed did not need to fast while He was with them. That time would come later as they mourned when He would be taken from them and crucified (Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19-20; Luke 34-35).

The choice to fast is a personal one, and it is not a requirement to obtain salvation.

Observing a pattern of fasting will not get you into Heaven. It will strengthen your faith in Christ Jesus, your joy in your relationship with Yahweh God, and your spiritual power through the Holy Spirit.

May Yahweh God richly bless you in your journey to grow closer to Him.

#Yahweh #God #Jesus #Christ #HolySpirit #DailyDevotional #BibleStudy

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Eddie Dollgener

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