|What Jesus said about Fasting
What Jesus on whom be
peace said about Fasting
The Gospel of Matthew shows that Jesus ?fasted forty days and forty
nights? (Matthew 4:21). The Gospel of Luke adds the detail that ?in
those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward
hungered? (Luke 4:2). Since Jesus fasted, his true followers will
also fast, if they indeed follow his teachings. He said, ?If ye continue
in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed? (John 8:31).
People had complained to Jesus saying, ?Why do the disciples of John
fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees;
but thine eat and drink?? (Luke 5:33). But Jesus replied that as
long as he is with them his disciples should not fast, but after he is
taken away then ?they will fast in those days? (Luke 5:35).
This is why Jesus also gave them instructions on how to fast for the sake
of God (Matthew 6:16-18). If they were never to fast, such instructions
would be pointless.
The Bible shows that the disciples were fasting afterwards:
?they had fasted and prayed? (Acts 13:3), and again they had
?prayed with fasting? (Acts 14:23). The Bible mentions fasting
as one of the observances of a minister of God (2 Corinthians
6:5), and ?fastings often? as a proof of the worth of a disciple
Luke 5:33 quoted above reveals that (a) fasting means abstinence from
eating and drinking, and, (b) that although the disciples were not to
fast until after Jesus was taken away, Jesus himself continued to fast,
otherwise the complaint would have been against him also. It is clear
that the Jewish Rabbis were fasting (Matthew 9:14, and Mark 2:18). And
Jesus too was called a Rabbi (see John 1:38; 3:2; 6:25 and Matthew 23:8).
So he too must have been fasting.
The disciples were unable to drive out a demon from a
boy, but Jesus drove it out. When the disciples asked how he did it, he
said that this kind can be driven out only ?by prayer and fasting?
This shows that because the disciples were not fasting they could not
drive out the demon, and, that Jesus could drive it out because he was
fasting. Some copyists attempted to change this verse by leaving out the
words ?and fasting?. This is how, for example, the Revised Standard
Version reads. But this reading gives the passage an impossible meaning
that Jesus?s disciples were not praying either. This is perhaps why
the Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version restores the words
?and fasting?. The New Testament From the Ancient Eastern Text
also includes the words ?and fasting? (Mark 9:29).
God rescued us from this uncertainty by revealing his final incorruptible
message in which He instructs all able believers to fast for a month each
year. Today Jesus' true followers are still fasting according to God's
pure instructions. Muslims are the true followers of Jesus and all of
All Bible references are to
the King James Version except where stated otherwise.