In a culture that insisted on fasting, Jesus and his disciples were criticized for not doing it the way everyone else did. It was questioned whether they even bothered. In response he tells them that his disciples do not need to fast when the Bridegroom is with them. They’ll fast later.

C.S. Lewis said, “This Man (Jesus) suddenly remarks one day, 'No one need fast while I am here.' Who is this Man who remarks that His mere presence suspends all normal rules?” [1]

With spiritual practices, Jesus is not interested in us dutifully following the rules. He is interested in teaching us to let go of lesser gods and discovering Abba.

The disciples did not need to fast because the goal of fasting was achieved in being present with Jesus. Later when Jesus would leave the earth, the Holy Spirit came to continue His presence. When we fast, it is the emptying (or making room) in our experience to more fully embrace God’s presence.

I dare you to break your own rules about eating and filling up every moment with lesser things. I encourage you to stir your appetite for God.

[1] The Essential C.S. Lewis by Clive Staples Lewis, p.330, Simon & Schuster Inc., 1996