Matthew 6:16-18
The Definition of Discipleship

The Practice of Righteousness  

Matthew 6:16-18

 Seeking to Look Good (v. 16)

  1. The deceitful appearance
  2. The delightful applause

 Seek to Be Good (vv. 17-18)

  1. The distracting appearance
  2. The Divine approval


More to Consider

Author, editor, and professor Joe Carter has collected ten reasons for biblical fasting1:

  1. To strengthen prayer (e.g., see Ezra 8:23)
  2. To seek God’s guidance (e.g., see Judges 20:26)
  3. To express grief (e.g., see 1 Samuel 31:13)
  4. To seek deliverance or protection (e.g., see 2 Chronicles 20:3 – 4)
  5. To express repentance and a return to God (e.g., see 1 Samuel 7:6)
  6. To humble oneself before God (e.g., see 1 Kings 21:27 – 29)
  7. To express concern for the work of God (e.g., see Nehemiah 1:3 – 4)
  8. To minister to the needs of others (e.g., see Isaiah 58:3 – 7)
  9. To overcome temptation and dedicate yourself to God (e.g., see Matthew 4:1 – 11)
  10. To express love and worship for God (e.g., see Luke 2:37)

Biblical Fasting: Why, When, How, and How Not to Fast.

He made free use of Christian vocabulary. He talked about the blessing of the Almighty and the Christian confessions which would become the pillars of the new government. He assumed the earnestness of a man weighed down by historic responsibility. He handed out pious stories to the press, especially to the church papers. He showed his tattered Bible and declared that he drew the strength for his great work from it as scores of pious people welcomed him as a man sent from God. Indeed, Adolf Hitler was a master of outward religiosity--with no inward reality!   Today in the Word, June 3, 1989.

We fast in this life because we believe in the life to come. We don’t have to get it all here and now, because we have a promise that we will have it all in the coming age. We fast from what we can see and taste, because we have tasted and seen the goodness of the invisible and infinite God — and are desperately hungry for more of him.

Fasting for Beginners, David Mathis,