1. What Is Fasting?
Fasting involved going without food to engage in a spiritual activity, usually prayer, with greater focus.
With prayer, we attach ourselves to God. By fasting, we detach ourselves from SELF and this WORLD.
2. Why Does Jesus Mention Fasting In This Sermon?
The three major acts of Jewish worship included:
GIVING, PRAYING, and FASTING.
In His teaching about each of these three practices, Jesus warned His disciples not to do them for man’s praise. As with giving (Matt. 6:2–4) and praying (vv. 5–15), fasting is to be a matter of the heart between the Christian and God.
3. What Does the Bible Teach About Fasting?
Various kinds of fasts were commonly practiced in Old Testament times. God only commanded the Israelites to fast on one day of the year, the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:29–31; 23:27–32).
The Pharisees fasted twice a week (Luke 18:12).
In the New Testament, there is NO command to fast.
Fasting occurred in the early New Testament church and seems to have been a normal part of Christian self-discipline (1 Cor. 9:24–27; Phil. 3:19; 1 Pet. 4:3).
4. Why Should I Consider Fasting?
Jesus ASSUMES that His disciples will fast. (v.16)
5. What Are Some Potential Problems With Fasting?
6. How Do I Fast?
The Main Point…
The main point of this passage is not fasting, but the difference between the hypocritically self-righteous and those who are truly righteous. Jesus criticizes these religious leaders for a particular form of hypocrisy: doing right things for the wrong reasons. He pointed out that the hypocrites wanted the admiration of other people even more than they wanted God’s attention. Since that is what they really wanted, that’s all they would get.
CLIP ON AND CLIMB!
Sermon Topics: Fasting