Parents use these questions to discuss Sunday’s sermon with your children. Feel free to pick and choose the questions that are most helpful (or add your own). Pick a time that works best for your family, maybe around the dinner table, at bed time or on a drive.
A Biblical Understanding of Fasting
Parents: Fasting may be something that your children are not familiar with. You may want to start with a basic understanding of what fasting is. If you have fasted before, talk with your children about that experience. Why did you do it? What was it like? How did God use it in your life?
Why did people fast in the Old Testament? (Jonah 3, 2 Samuel 1, Nehemiah 1)
What was the one commanded fast in the Old Testament? (Lev 16) Why did they fast on that day?
What did the Pharisees believe about fasting? What was their practice of fasting?
Read Luke 18:9-12 Describe the two men in the parable. What is the difference between them?
Read Matthew 6:1-18 What does Jesus say here about the practice of fasting? Act out what it would look like to “look gloomy like the hypocrites.” How should we look when we are fasting? Is it ok for people to know that you are fasting?
How did the early church practice fasting? (Acts 13:2-3, Acts 14:23)
In Matthew 6:16, Jesus says “when you fast” - Is fasting a command? Is it a sin not to fast? Read Matthew 9: 14-17 What did Jesus say about his followers and the practice of fasting?
What are some purposes and benefits of fasting? (Parents, if you have practiced fasting you may want to share the reasons why you fasted and how it benefited you)
Spend some time praying about the things you have discussed.