14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. 16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
From reading this passage today and drawing on my knowledge and understanding of scripture, I think that this section of scripture reveals at least 2 things:
1) There is an expectation that modern Christians are meant to fast, even though Christ did not do it with his disciples
2) The context, application and approach to fasting is meant to be different to what it was in the old testament.
I am certainly not an expert on fasting. While I have done it a couple of times and found it very beneficial, I am certain that there are a bunch of things about fasting that I can still learn, and I am fairly certain that there have been times when I could have had benefit from fasting, but I have decided it would be too hard.
Lately I have been diving in to learning about prayer and I have been developing my prayer life significantly and I am learning that there is a link between the power that can be released through prayer and the concept of fasting.
Lord, help me to deepen my desire for you and out of that may I grow to love and understand fasting.
Written by Ps Justin Ware