A former student of mine posed a question on the Fast Tuesday groups discussion board that I thought was pretty interesting. I think there are differing opinions about Jesus’ instructions. She said, “Aren’t you supposed to fast in private?”
Well done, grasshoper! I always challenged my youth group students to ask clarifying questions and not blindly accept the stuff church leaders say. This is the passage Lisa refers to:
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:16-18
My opinion, and I’m totally fine in being told my opinion is rubbish, is that there is a difference between doing something as a spectacle (looking somber, disfiguring your face) and keeping it so secret that the practice can’t be taught. (As in, most evangelicals don’t fast!)
What do you think? I mean, if I’m right and Lisa is wrong I think we should beat her up and humiliate her so she never asks a question again! But if she is right and I’m wrong I’ll have to send a bunch of people after her to tell her that its wrong to question me. [Or maybe I need to fast from sarcasm for lent?]
Randomly associated link: If you’re looking for some severe fasting during lent, I suggest you check out all that Marko is giving up for lent.