What did Jesus say about fasting?
The Bible tells us that when you fast, do not put on a gloomy countenance, like the hypocrites who make their faces pale so that people may see that they are fasting. Verily I say unto you; they have taken their reward. But Thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head and wash thy face, that thou mayest show thyself fasting, not unto men, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee.
Jesus says there is a right way to fast and a wrong way. Matthew 6 teaches the crowds that fasting can be a form of religious hypocrisy, like almsgiving and showing prayers. He condemns the intention to fast in the sight of the world.
True fasting is kept in silence without showing oneself out. Jesus speaks of fasting in Matthew 17:21: Here is fasting pleasing to me: it loosens the chains of wickedness, reduces the bonds of bondage, releases the oppressed, and breaks every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and bring into your house the homeless wretch; if you see a naked man, cover him, and do not turn your back on your neighbor.
What did Jesus do while fasting?
Authentic repentance involves fasting with prayer. It is possible to confess your sins without repenting them. Sometimes fasting helps break up the clods in the soil of hearts, and it often leads to victory over sin. Fasting and prayer strengthen us and weaken the power of the old nature. Fasting and prayer bring spiritual strength³ into the lives of people.
While fasting, Jesus walked through the desert and prayed to God for the world.
The Bible links fasting to prayer, but it includes much more. It is not simply abstinence from food; fasting includes prayer, repentance, and heart-searching. If we are too fast, we must do it for the right reasons and in the right way.
Key Verse related to Jesus’ fast
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came to Him.
Matthew 4:1 (NIV)