A Fast Read on Fasting- Mark 2

Reflection from my reading in Mark 2 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Fasting is not super popular in our culture. And honestly, I do not do it as much as I should. Our culture is not good at delaying gratification. We have fast food, fast access to information, and fast-paced entertainment.

Fasting, on the other hand, is all about choosing to do without something (normally food) to focus on the only One you can’t truly do without (God).

Don’t Fast At The Feast

Jesus was asked by the religious leaders why his disciples didn’t fast like the Pharisees. Here’s his response:

“Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.” Mark 2:19

Jesus is saying that while he was with them, they did not need to fast.

On the other hand, the religious leaders made fasting another legalistic rule instead of using it as a tool. 

You don’t fast for fasting sake; you fast for a purpose. The disciples at this point did not have a reason to fast so they didn’t need to.

They Will Fast…

“The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.” Mark 2:20

Jesus is saying that when Jesus isn’t physically with them, then there will be a need to fast. He says that they will fast, assuming that it is something that we will and should do.

2 Benefits of Fasting

  • Focused Prayer – Fasting can help especially with focusing on prayer for a specific request. Esther asked people to fast and pray before she approached the King with a risky request. It can also help if you are making a big decision in life.
  • Regaining Spiritual Appetite – If you are going through a dry season spiritually, it may be a good idea to fast from food to regain your appetite for God.

If you have never fasted before, I encourage you to prayerfully start with a do-able goal and see what happens!

Don’t make a big deal about it. Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and not to impress your friends.

If you have something specific to pray about or just want a fresh connection with God it could be a good time to try fasting.

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