“So the people left the town and went to see Jesus.
31 Meanwhile, his followers were begging him, “Teacher, eat something.”
32 But Jesus answered, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
33 So the followers asked themselves, “Did somebody already bring him food?”
34 Jesus said, “My food is to do what the One who sent me wants me to do and to finish his work.
John 4:30-34, NCV
Jesus was amazingly attractive to people. With an almost magnetic pull, they were drawn to Him. He connected to each one in a powerful and intimate way. In our time, and in our way, Jesus continues to have this incredible appeal. People are quite attracted to Jesus, and continue to be. They deeply respect and esteem Him. They maybe turned off by the Church, or by doctrine, but they are amazed by Jesus.
As disciples, there was a general consensus that Jesus had become a little too popular–to the extent that He wasn’t taking care of Himself. The thought was that He need sustenance–calories, they hadn’t seen Him eating. They were concerned that Jesus was “spreading” Himself far too thin. But this concern was not valid. Jesus tells of His “food” that the Father was giving Him. Nourishment was something that Jesus didn’t have to worry about. The Father took responsibility for Jesus’ hunger. And Jesus trusted His Father implicitly.
Often our physical needs become our central issues, taking a consistent center-stage. We start to make eating to an fairly elevated importance. We aren’t just eating, we become gourmets. We will follow Jesus, but only if we can bring our refrigerators. It may seem subtle, and unimportant, but our stomach can be diverting. Our appetites subtly encroach on God’s claim on our lives. The story of Esau in the book of Genesis is a warning for us today–he traded his birthright for a bowl of savory stew.
Whenever Jesus comments deeply, He will clarify much. He is not worried about His physical needs, that it the Father’s concern. Instead we see Jesus focusing, with almost pinpoint precision on the Father’s will. Such focus seems fanatical, way too zealous for us. It seems that we have exalted culinary excellence, and have been gastronomically led to a place where are palates and stomach’s start to rule.
“My food is to do His work.” Jesus had a focus, that took Him into a way of life we admire, but don’t ever attain. We certainly will never diminish or minimize Jesus. But I think we do this when we just gloss over verses like this, and try to ‘side-step’ the obvious meaning with an interpretation that removes the stinger. We must arrive at this point. It’s the place were our physical hunger for “good food” is replaced by a strong appetite to do the will and direction of our Heavenly Father.
What do you intend to do now? Will you trust Him to meet your physical needs? Will the active pursuit of God’s will nourish you completely? You need to figure that out for yourself. All I can do is to lay this before you so you can make a decision.
- You Are What You Eat (tenminutesadaywithjesus.wordpress.com)