Verse of the Day

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Matthew 6:16-18

This Wednesday night, October 10th, we will have our Matthew bible study. Last time we met we wrapped up Matthew 6:5-15. Tomorrow we will be discussing Matthew 6:16-18. This passage gives us instruction upon fasting. As I mentioned Sunday morning, this passage has changed my mind on fasting. I used to believe that fasting was not necessary for NT believers. It is nowhere commanded of us in the NT. However, this passage assumes as a disciple of Jesus Christ you will practice fasting as it says, "when you fast" not "if you fast." It must be observed however that while he expects his disciples to fast, he radically changed the way fasting was to be carried on as well as the relative importance of it. Here are some comments/thoughts/questions to help as you prepare for tomorrow night:

  1. What is fasting? Is it ascetic or spiritual?
  2. Grab a bible dictionary off your shelf and look up "fasting" in it. It is well worth your time. Or if you have a bible concordance handy, look up all the references to fasting. Then, catalogue why the people fasted. My conclusion from doing this is fasts were generally in response to calamities and to demonstrate humility and repentance.
  3. Matthew 9:14-17 is an important cross-reference to study
  4. The weight of textual evidence is against the inclusion of references to fasting in Mt. 17:21; Mk. 9:29; Acts 10:30; 1 Cor. 7:5, though the presence of these references in many manuscripts in itself indicates that there was a growing belief in the value of fasting in the early church.

I will see you Wednesday night!

No comments: