Matthew 6:16–18 (ESV)
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. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and
wash your face, 18 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.
Fasting is only one of many practices that are susceptible to religious hypocrisy. Jesus does not command His disciples to discontinue acts of piety such as fasting, but to make sure that they are done to God’s glory (cf 1Co
10:31). Jesus practiced what He preached by giving generously, praying, and fasting for our salvation.
I pray: Holy Father,
to You belongs all glory, praise, and honor, now and forever. May my deeds reflect Your mercy and Your glory. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The
Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1590). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.