And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Matt 4:2
Although the Savior used fasting from food as a way of humility, it is nothing more than denying yourself and depending on God.
The Bible speaks about humility and fasting in the same sentence – I humbled myself with fasting; Ps 35:13
Humility is the way to remove the self-centered things in your life that would compete for your attention to God.
Self-centered things often wedge between you and God.
Although He fasted this is not to say that Jesus never ate again. But He put the simple pleasure and necessity of eating into its proper place, which was not between Him and Father.
The Bible teaches to glorify God in all things and that includes in what you eat – Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor 10:31
So it is okay to go fishing or to the movies when you are honoring God in it.
But how often do we not honor God in what we do?
If you want to reach your full potential in Christ then you must examine your motives.
So why would Jesus go without eating for 40 days and nights?
First, to deepen the relationship with Father.
This is what fasting has done for me. It strips you of any ounce of pride you may have and increases your dependence on God.
I’m not sure how the religious leaders of Jesus day could maintain any pride while fasting but the Bible says they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. Matt 6:16
Their heart wasn’t into deepening the relationship with God – only deepening the admiration of others.
Fasting is not about going without food, as the miserable and disheveled hypocrites thought, it is about a spiritual transformation.
You will begin to change as God causes you to deal with the issues of your past, and quite often, unforgiveness is one of those.
Now I am positive that Jesus did not have to deal with sinful issues of the past. This means His ability to deepen the relationship with the Father had no past problems to be dealt with so it just strengthened the bond between them even more.
As you continue to read Matthew you will see how deep the bond was between them and how often Jesus referred to “Father!”
His whole life revolved around Him.
Wouldn’t that be totally awesome – to revolve everything you say, everything you do around the will of Father?
There is significance to the number 40 in scripture. Google it and you’ll get several different views. I tend to believe it’s a preparation period.
It rained 40 days and nights and this prepared Noah and family to inhabit a new world.
Moses was on the mountain for 40 days and nights. This prepared him to receive the Law.
Twelve men explored the land of Canaan in preparation to take it over, though that did not happen at that time.
The Hebrews wandered for 40 years and this prepared them to enter the land God had promised to them.
Elijah went 40 days and nights in the strength of one meal (fasting) and this prepared him to hear a still small voice.
Jesus fast of 40 days and nights prepared Him for the temptation to follow.
Perhaps if we humbled ourselves before God, we would be more prepared to face the day!