I’m on day 2 of a week of fasting with my church. Yesterday I blogged on the why of fasting. Today is a look at the Master fasting.
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.” (Matthew 4:1-2).
I’ve always thought this was the biggest understatement in the Bible. Duh! Of course Jesus became hungry; He hadn’t eaten for forty days! Why is that even worth saying? Yet, there it is: “He then became hungry.”
Here’s what I’m thinking. Because I believe the Bible is God-breathed, I must assume that here God stated the obvious for some reason other than the obvious. And what was not obvious at the time the Gospel of Matthew was written was that while Jesus was fully God He was also fully man. The statement, “He then became hungry,” places Jesus fully in the human category (though still fully God).
It would have been easy to dismiss Jesus’ fasting forty days as a minor accomplishment for a god, but Jesus was fully man as well, and He then became hungry. Jesus’ response to the tempter’s suggestion that He do some supernatural cooking to satisfy His hunger then takes on more significance: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus, here, a hungry man, affirms that there is something more important than food, meaning that there is something more important than life, and that is to hear from the Father.
And that is the reason to fast. GS