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March 20, 2018, 8:25 AM

Morning Coffee

Matthew 6:16-18 (KJV)
16  Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18  That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

“When you fast is a reference both to fasting prescribed under the Mosaic Law in connection with the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:29) and the voluntary fast of the day. The Pharisees added two fast days, Monday and Thursday of each week, as a case of public display and piety.” (Liberty Annotated Study Bible). When seen with a sad countenance everybody could see their piety, they have their reward is what Jesus said, they were seen of men.

Jesus taught His followers to not advertize your fasting by word or countenance. But to fast in secret and God would reward you openly. Jesus did not institute a fast for His disciples but voluntary fasting was common in the New Testament.

There might seem to be a contradiction with Mathew 5:16. This is not a contradiction but rather an enhancement. There, we are to let our light shine before men that they might glorify God not self. Here, we are to not be like the Pharisees (hypocrites). Our character is on display daily and should reflect the light of Christ to bring Glory to God. Our religious acts should be done as to not draw attention to ourselves but Christ.

You can’t hide from being seen. But you can radiate God’s presence in your life. Our actions are being judged each day by those who know that we are a Christian. Our fruit on display and being seen by those all around, for good or for bad. Most see our failures and use it as a reason to not follow. They don’t understand forgiveness. Others see our failures and understand the struggle. We must be aware that we are the only Jesus most people ever see. Let’s give them a good picture. We are blessed.


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