On today’s Bible Answer Man broadcast (06/03/21), Hank returns to Matthew chapter 6, beginning in verse 16. Here Jesus teaches on fasting, the third strand of the triple-braided cord—almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. The most exceptional fasting account in the whole of the Old Testament took place at the time of the exodus; a fast from food and water for forty days and forty nights. And not just once, but on three separate occasions and over a relatively short period of time. The account, of course, is that of Moses, who climbed up to the top of Mount Sinai and was absorbed into the cloud of God’s glory. There he experienced God as the archetypal source of life and living. On the mountaintop, Moses was permitted to experientially know that “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” He was not kept alive by bread and water, but by being interpenetrated by uncreated energy. Had Moses not participated in the divine nature, he would most certainly have died. Jesus likewise abstained from food. As the new Moses leading us into a better covenant, He fasted forty days and forty nights in the wilderness. Israel murmured against God in the midst of wilderness manna. Immanuel did not. He cherished the manna from heaven more than life itself. The normal human mode of existence depends on the ingestion, digestion, and metabolism of food and water. As Jesus makes plain, however, there is an alternate energy supply. This, then, is the primary purpose of fasting: to experience God as the source and substance of life that is truly life. To taste the heavenly manna. To drink divine water so as to never thirst again. To recognize union with Christ as the apex of human existence.

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