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According to Luke 4:1-2, Jesus, after his water baptism at the Jordan river, was full of the Spirit and was led by the Spirit to a 40-day fast:

Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He was hungry. [Luke 4:1-2 NASB]

The details of the 40-day fast are well known by everybody and can be found in verses 3-13. However, verse 14 says something interesting:

14 And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding region.

In other words, we have the following sequence of events: 1) water baptism, 2) full of the Spirit, 3) 40-day fast, 4) return in the power of the Spirit, 5) news about Jesus spreading everywhere.

Question: is there a causal relationship between points 3 and 4? Was the 40-day fast a necessary condition for Jesus to unleash greater levels of power in the Spirit in order to carry out his powerful ministry?

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  • Dear down-voter: would you be so kind as to explain the reasons that led you to express discontent towards my question? I'm eager to learn from your constructive criticism. Mar 9 at 14:28
  • Maybe one day I'll have sufficient rep to down-vote your question(s), but for now, I'll just ask why you would trace something spiritual to something natural. Mar 9 at 14:31
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    @TheChaz2.0 - you have to watch/read more testimonies, this is a pattern I've seen in lots of them. But in any case, I'm asking, I'm not claiming it to be the case. You can respond with "No, there is no causal relationship" and explain your reasons in an answer. Mar 9 at 14:40
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Good observation:

we have the following sequence of events: 1) water baptism, 2) full of the Spirit, 3) 40-day fast, 4) return in the power of the Spirit, 5) news about Jesus spreading everywhere.

Is there a causal relationship between points 3 and 4?

I'd say so:

NASB Matthew 17

19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” 20And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. 21 But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Fasting seems to be a training practice for the increase in faith.

Was the 40-day fast a necessary condition for Jesus to unleash greater levels of power in the Spirit in order to carry out his powerful ministry?

By hindsight, we know that God did it this way for Jesus.

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I don't think that's something clear in the text. The 40 days in the desert was for preparation, and in particular testing, but Jesus was already 'full of the Holy Spirit' when he entered the desert.

Having said that, extended fasting has definite physiological effects. After several days, a person typically will have an increase in calm, focus, and euphoria. This continues until their body fat is below a certain level (which varies), at which they develop a 'wolf's appetite' (typically about 30 days in). See The 5 Stages of Fasting. This could have been useful for the work that needed to be done in preparation for his Ministry.

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  • This could have been useful for the work that needed to be done in preparation for his Ministry. - would you mind elaborating on this? I'm struggling to see how this is true. Mar 9 at 23:47
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator If it was useful in this preparatory phase to have higher levels of calm or focus - for example, to pray more effectively, perhaps. Mar 9 at 23:55

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