As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment, heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him, I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17
Then, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the temple's highest point. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:“‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matthew 4:1-11
After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Or a statement that He was fully human?
We have a wordplay statement in our culture called ‘Hangry’. It is that state of being where our anger seems to rise to the top once we get very hungry. It reveals that when we are hungry, we have less ability to control how we feel and often how we act.
Fasting can strip away our pretenses, reveal our weaknesses and temporal dependencies, showing our need for Someone greater than ourselves.
So what would 40 days of not eating bring us? Hopefully, a weakened condition. One that would lead us to lean on, depend upon, and trust in our Abba Father completely.
This particular passage is not just about fasting, but we can extrapolate a few lessons about fasting:
1-If Jesus, as the Son of Man, fasted, and it was good, then it is good for us.
2-Fasting leads to hunger. More hunger for the One who loves us.
3-Fasting leads to greater perspective. We do not live by bread alone.
Take some time and ask God how He reveals Himself through fasting and prayer.
What are your obstacles to incorporating prayer and fasting to deepen your relationship with Abba Father?
Consider there are many forms of fasting. If you have dietary restrictions or medical conditions, consider dedicated electronic fasting, for example.
Lord, You lead by example. You empower by Your Spirit. You reward with Your presence. Come and lead our prayers and fasting. Amen