Day One – Jesus Fasted
Fasting Date: Monday, February 5, 2018
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” (Matthew 4:1-2 ESV)
Jesus, the perfect Son of God, fasted. Let that sink in for a moment. When we question what motive we have for fasting, the fact that the One we follow did so should be reason enough. And yet, why did our Savior choose to deny himself food? What was his motive? We know from the text that Jesus, as he begins his public ministry, is being led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil – the adversary who wants to disqualify him from the cross and derail God’s plan of salvation. A lot is riding on Jesus’ ability to withstand the onslaught of the evil one. It is clear that the devil has aimed his attack for a time when Jesus is physically weak and hungry. But here’s the beautiful irony: Satan comes to Jesus when he knows he has been fasting; but Jesus has been fasting because he knows that Satan is coming.
Fasting, for Jesus, was not an empty religious ritual, but a powerful weapon to lay hold of as he walked upon this earth. The self-denial that left him physically weak was a means of being spiritually strong. His time spent suppressing the desires of the flesh and drawing near to the presence of his Father prepared him to pursue the course that was set before him. As we follow in his footsteps, may we view fasting as a means of denying the physical that we might focus on the spiritual, seeking the face of our Father and gaining strength to walk the path he has set before us.
Reflection: What steps are you currently taking to grow stronger in your walk with God?