Study the following four points concerning fasting, and the texts which illustrate them.

1. Jewish people, including John the Baptist and Jesus, and Gentiles, strongly influenced by Jewish traditions, practiced fasting in New Testament times.

(Mat 4:1 NIV) Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.

(Mat 4:2 NIV) After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

(Luke 2:36 NIV) There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,

(Luke 2:37 NIV) and then was a widow until she was eighty?four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.

(Luke 18:9 NIV) To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:

(Luke 18:10 NIV) "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

(Luke 18:11 NIV) The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ’God, I thank you that I am not like other men??robbers, evildoers, adulterers??or even like this tax collector.

(Luke 18:12 NIV) I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

(Luke 18:13 NIV) "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ’God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

(Luke 18:14 NIV) "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

(Acts 10:30 NIV) Cornelius answered: "Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me

(Acts 13:1 NIV) In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.

(Acts 13:2 NIV) While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

(Acts 13:3 NIV) So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

(Acts 13:1 KJV) Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

(Acts 13:2 KJV) As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

(Acts 13:3 KJV) And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

(Acts 14:23 NIV) Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

(Acts 14:23 KJV) And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

(2 Cor 6:4 NIV) Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;

(2 Cor 6:5 NIV) in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger;

(2 Cor 6:6 NIV) in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;

(2 Cor 11:23 NIV) Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.

(2 Cor 11:24 NIV) Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.

(2 Cor 11:25 NIV) Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,

(2 Cor 11:26 NIV) I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.

(2 Cor 11:27 NIV) I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

(2 Cor 11:28 NIV) Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

2. For these people Jesus regulated fasting.

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