Saying 27: Jesus said, “If you do not abstain from the world, you will not find the Kingdom. If you do not observe the sabbath as a [true] sabbath, you will not see the father.”
Abstaining – or fasting – from the world is a requirement for finding the Kingdom. Why? Because as long as we are immersed in the world – the physical world around us which is defined by the principles of separation – we cannot see the Kingdom which is marked by Oneness and connection.
New Testament scholar F. F. Bruce writes:
“This saying…seems to have been widely known in the church of the second and third centuries…While literal fasting and sabbath-keeping are deprecated (as in Sayings 14 and 104), the spiritual counterpart to these religious exercises is recommended (Saying 6).”