Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over you and In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, you shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Again the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, “you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. Mark 4:1-11
While Jesus was in the wilderness He was fasting, let’s consider what exactly fasting is. The Definition of a fast is quite simply not eating food for a personal set amount of time. The Christian view of a fast takes it a little further; it is a time to abstain from anything distracting you from keeping your eyes on God’s will, humbling yourself before God. It is a time to pray and for repentance looking into ourselves and asking for God’s direction. Daniel was a man focused on what God wanted him to do, he would fast to understand what God wanted. This is what Daniel would do: At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over. Daniel 10:2-3 Isaiah puts it this way after some had fasted and made fasting into a show and tried to garner personal gain: Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord? “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Isaiah 58:5-7 Jesus also gave directions for fasting: “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18 Isaiah and Jesus were scolding the people that were being addressed because they were focused on themselves. Through what not to do gives us a view of having a closer relationship with God. Daniel would do everything he could to remove distractions that would cause him to loose focus on God.