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Showing posts from May, 2016

The Christian and Fasting: Matthew 6:16-18

Of all the things that our Lord could have highlighted when it came to one’s “righteousness” (ver. 1), he chose giving, prayer, and fasting.He could have mentioned reading and studying Scripture, for example, but he didn’t.Why did he choose these three religious activities?One possible answer is that each of these three activities underlines a key element in our devotion to God.Righteousness is incomplete unless it relates to others (giving), to God (prayer), and to oneself (fasting).Jesus’ teaching here implies that he expects his followers to exhibit a complete righteousness in their lives.Of course, the main emphasis of the text is against hypocrisy in one’s religious duties.It would be a false deduction from this text, however, that the key to killing hypocrisy is to stop doing these things.We may be liable to hypocrisy in prayer, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop praying.We are supposed to give, and we are supposed to pray.And we are supposed to fast. Now this has been dis…