LENT – WEEK 1 – SUNDAY
LESSON: MATTHEW 4:1-11
We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
It is customary to read the Gospel of Christ’s temptation by the devil at the beginning of the season of Lent to set Christ’s example before Christians and encourage them to fast as Christ fasted.
This is utter tomfoolery!
In the first place, no one can ever measure up to such an example and fast without any food at all for forty days and nights as Christ did. Christ, moreover, followed the example of Moses, who also fasted for forty days and nights when he received God’s law on Mount Sinai. Accordingly, Christ also wanted to fast when He was about to bring us the new law and to publish it.
In the second place, our fasting is a complete mistake instituted by men. Although Christ fasted for forty days, there is nothing at all in His Word in which He orders us to do likewise. He probably also did other things that He does not want us to do. But what He tells us to do and not to do, we should keep carefully in mind and act according to His Word.
Our worst mistake of all was to regard and practice our fasting as a good work. We did not fast to discipline our flesh but to acquire merit before God, to blot out our sins, and to obtain grace.
PRAYER: You have bound us, O Lord, as your children to your Word as our rule of faith and life. In this Word, you assure us we shall know the truth, and the truth will set us free. This we also pray in your name. Amen.