Lent: fasting in the church

Fasting is a method that people can use to limit or deny their physical desires for a higher, often spiritual, goal. Fasting was widely practiced among the ancient Jews, usually before important feast days. It was also practiced by disciples of John the Baptist. As a Jew, Jesus would have fasted, his disciples likewise fasted, and the earliest Christians followed in that path. The New Testament speaks of fasting, but the Bible and other early sources simply do not include many statistics. Initially fasting was not universal.