Friday, February 10, 2012

Fasting or Feasting

“To eat or not to eat” is a major theme threaded throughout the Scriptures. For example, Adam lost his kingdom because of eating; Esau lost his birthright over a single meal; some of the Israelites forfeited Canaan after rejecting a meatless diet; and by refusing to eat, Jesus regained the kingdom.

Throughout His life, Jesus fasted.  And on one such occasion, the disciples brought him food, and were surprised when He said: “I have food to eat that you don’t know about,” explaining, “My food is to do the will of my father in heaven.” (John 4:34) At that moment, Jesus re-defined fasting.

Frankly, we think of fasting as a deprivation. But while Jesus was fasting, He was actually feasting on His Father's fare! Pleasing His Father, doing His work is what sustained and nourished Jesus. Centuries earlier, God said, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Deut 8:3). Paul said, The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).  Jesus said, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matt. 5:6). This certainly changes my view of fasting, or should I say "feasting!"


  1. Greg,

    My wife and participate with our congregation in corporate fasts, especially at the beginning of each year. We have learned the power surge of fasting AND praying. We have also discovered how the word "speedily" seems to characterize our spiritual growth during this time. The insights into God's character and purposes become so much more accessible for some reason, as well. Maybe because our focus becomes more intense; maybe its just because of drawing nearer to the heart of God; maybe both.

    But just as we abstain from something we would normally eat or drink or the time we would sleep during our fasting period, we also are beginning a new tradition of calculating how much money we saved during our fast and giving it to the poor. That way our deprivation feeds someone who needs our abundant supply. I think precedent for this was implied in the fasting chapter of Isaiah 58, and church tradition says that the early church practiced this as well.

    We are still reaping a financial overflow from our first season of this activity!


  2. thank for sharing that. Too few of us know what you have discovered about fasting/feasting!

  3. 'Greg,

    Timely! I have been thinking a lot about the subject of fasting.

    Blessed word!


  4. thank you Anau. I hope you will think of it as "feasting" from now on!