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Mark 2:18–22 CSB
Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. People came and asked him, “Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees’ disciples fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the skins. No, new wine is put into fresh wineskins.”

What is fasting, should we fast?

(CSB) 18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees, were fasting. People came and asked him, “Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees’ disciples fast, but your disciples do not fast?”
A QUESTION ABOUT FASTING
18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees, were fasting. People came and asked him, “Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees’ disciples fast, but your disciples do not fast?”
19 Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.

Fasting is not earning favor with God. It is not about making much of your self.

(CSB) 18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees, were fasting. People came and asked him, “Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees’ disciples fast, but your disciples do not fast?”
Illus: Fasting can either be one of the greatest tools in knowing God or it can be one of the greatest obstacles in knowing him.
This is what I mean… fasting is the practice of denying yourself… something, anything, and through that hunger, you learn to hunger and thirst for God.
When you fast from food, you take the hunger for food and develop that same hunger for God.
Here is the struggle, when we fast, we make sure everyone knows we are fasting. We “inadvertantly” drop that we can’t go out to eat because we are fasting.
And then we begin to have an elevated sense of our goodness, because look at what I’m giving up for God.
(CSB) 16 “Whenever you fast, don’t be gloomy like the hypocrites. For they make their faces unattractive, so that their fasting is obvious to people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting isn’t obvious to others but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
HOW TO FAST
16 “Whenever you fast, don’t be gloomy like the hypocrites. For they make their faces unattractive, so that their fasting is obvious to people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting isn’t obvious to others but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Real fasting is communing with God, it is teaching yourself to hunger for God.

19 Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.

Illus: Follow me here, my wife knows that if she really wants to show me that she loves me, all she needs to do is fix me one of my favorite meals.
Because the quickest way to my heart is through my stomach.
I love eating.
THe question I ask when I fast is whether I love God as much as I love eating. Do I enjoy God as much as I enjoy eating. Follow me here, when you fast from food and you feel the pangs of hunger, ask youself how you can hunger for God like that.
There is another reality to fasting, fasting makes you weak. Weakness leads you to dependence on God.
(CSB) 4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 Then the tempter approached him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”,
THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 Then the tempter approached him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”,

Should we fast today?

(CSB) 19 Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. 21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth, and a worse tear is made.
19 Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. 21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth, and a worse tear is made.

We fast today because we long for Jesus.

(CSB) 19 Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. 21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth, and a worse tear is made.
19 Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. 21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth, and a worse tear is made.
Illus: Let’s put this in as simple an illustration as possible, when you know you’ve got a good meal coming up, do you go to the buffet which serves a whole lot of average food to fill up.
When you know something better is coming, you fast so that you can fully appreciate the treat you are about to enjoy.
IN many ways fasting is a way that we show we wait for the day which God makes everything new. We longingly wait for the coming of Jesus.
Illus:
(CSB) 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief;, on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed., 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness 12 as you wait for the day of God and hasten its coming., Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire and the elements will melt with heat. 13 But based on his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief;, on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed., 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness 12 as you wait for the day of God and hasten its coming., Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire and the elements will melt with heat. 13 But based on his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

We fast knowing that one day there will not be a need for it.

(CSB) 19 Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. 21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth, and a worse tear is made.
Illus: We live in a feasting culture. This is what I mean, most of us eat a pretty good meal every night.
This was not they way biblical times were.
IN biblical times people ate sparsely until a feast. The feast represented the event people looked forward to.
Right now we are living in a day without Jesus, one day we will have him in our fullness. We fast knowing one day we will feast.
(CSB) 21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
(CSB) 21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
THE NEW CREATION
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:, Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples,, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.

How do we keep from fasting the wrong way?

(CSB) 20 But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. 21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the skins. No, new wine is put into fresh wineskins.”

Dose fasting make much of your piety, or do you does it lead you to dependence on God?

Illus: When you fast, is it about your spirituality, or showing off how spiritual you are… or does it create a hunger in you for God himself.
(CSB) 16 “Whenever you fast, don’t be gloomy like the hypocrites. For they make their faces unattractive, so that their fasting is obvious to people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting isn’t obvious to others but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
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