Interpretation of the Holy Bible - St. Matthew : Chapter 4 - lesson 2
- Chapter 4 ; Lesson 2
"He fasted forty days and forty nights"
Chrisostom :- ` Lord fasted not because He needed it , but to show that how noble it is and to show us how great a fort it is against the devil and for us to understand that after baptism, we have to give importance to fasting and not to the worldly wishes.'
St. Gregory regarding the fasting for 40 days says ` Lord, Creator of everything did not eat any food for 40 days. So we also should fast during the time of Lent and overpower our worldly body. `
40 days of lent for 10 commandments of God. We broke God's instructions through our body - given to us through the 10 commandments,. Because of the desire of our body, since we broke the 10 commandments, we can make body suffer 40 times. Like we are to offer 10% our income as tithe, let us submit 10% of an year to Lord. That is 6 weeks or 42 days. If we exclude Sundays , we are left with 36 days in an year.
There is also an opinion that this was needed because
1) Sadducees hoped for a Messiah who could fulfill material desires.
2) But the Pharisees were looking forward to a Messiah who displayed supernatural powers
3) the Herodians were looking for a Political and material Mesiah. But the church fathers were of the opinion that our Lord was tempted just like in Eden. Jewish rabbies define devil as " one who generates bad desires and attract one to the sin and cause one to perish by death."
Our Lord fasted because
1. To enjoy communion of Father.
2. To show us a model
What we can learn form the testing is that we should not think what I can achieve from the gifts of that God has given to us, instead with those gifts what I can do for others. Our Lord never used His gifts for Himself but for others always.
Fruits of fasting
1. We would power of God (Moses, Elijah)
2. Anger of God will go away. (Nineveh)
3. Perils will go away
4. Impending dangers and self-sorrow will go away. (2 Samuel1:12, 12:16)
5. Devil will go away
6. Situations will change (Esther)
How to fast ?
1. One should have prayer (Ezra 8:23; Daniel 9:3),
2. confession of sins (1 Samuel 7:6) And
3. should have humilty (Nehemiah 9:1)
Old Testament examples of fasting also found in David (2 Samuel 12; 16; Nehemiah (1:4); Esther (4:16) and Daniel (9:3). In New Testament the disciples of St. John (Mathew 9:14), Hannah (Luke 2:27), Cornolias (Acts 10:30), Early Christians (Acts 13:2), Apostles (2 Cori 6:5), Apostle Paul (Acts 27:21; 2 Cori 11; 27)- all fasted.
What are the types of testing that we may face?
(1) Temptation to use, God given gifts for our own benefits
(2) work for material benefits, forgetting God or work against God.
How should we face the tests of Evil?
1. Wish for God to guide you
2. pray to Lord
3. Do not doubt Him
4. never seek anything more than God or pray to any one other than Lord.
From the Desk of the Moderators
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