Topic: The “food” versus the Father’s will
Text: Then Jesus explained: “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” John 4:34 (NIV).
Commentary: What was the will of the Father for our Lord Jesus Christ? Read John 6:37-40
The priority is the problem here, not the food, what is more important to us as disciples of Jesus? What is more expedient for us as Jesus’ followers will determine how we go about the great commission. Jesus was so rivetted by the joy of doing what the Father sent Him to do, and of finishing the work that He gave Him. This satisfied Him more than his usual and ordinary food. The “food” of delighting in the Father’s will was so great that He cared little about the temporal food of this world.
- The seriousness and the urgency of Christ’s mission are brought out graphically in John 4. Here, the Bible records how the Lord Jesus converted a Samaritan woman at a well. It occurred when He and His disciples stopped to rest from their journey at Jacob’s well. As they were all tired and hungry, the disciples left Him there to go buy food at the nearby city of Sychar. During their absence, a Samaritan woman came to the well, and our Lord took the opportunity to preach to her. This brought about her salvation, and she ran back to tell other Samaritans in the village to come and see the Messiah.
When the disciples returned with food, Jesus was still talking with her. Not interested in what had happened, the only thing they were worried about was that their Master should have His long-awaited food with them. But Jesus replied that He had something superior to be troubled about. Here was an excellent opportunity to save sinners, and there was much work to be done! He therefore challenged them about our Kingdom Mission being our urgency.
The disciples saw the great conversion but they scarcely seemed to be thrilled or interested about this. It appears that the spiritually dull disciples, with their earth-bound vision, saw only the recent. Why was this so? Perhaps they were too anxious with the mundane subject of food. All that was on their minds then was that they had bought food for themselves and their Master and that He should now come and eat with them.
Maybe we can see a bit of ourselves in these disciples. We are oftentimes troubled about the basic necessities of life like food and drink, rest and sleep, health and comfort, clothes and shelter. There is nothing abnormal about being concerned with these things. But when our thoughts and our time are wholly preoccupied with them, then there must be great cause for concern.
There are more important things in life to be concerned about. Here are some thought-provoking questions:
- Would you sacrifice your leisure time or rest time if there is an opportunity for you to lead someone to Christ?
- Would you sacrifice buying the dress or Shoe you always wanted, to send the money to a mission field in need?
- Would you forgo a day meal to fast and pray for the unreached people groups or Nations?
Failure to answer these questions positively may show that you are preoccupied with the mundane things of this life. If you are earnestly seeking to advance God’s kingdom on earth, the first thing you need to do is to remove this preoccupation and embrace a sense of mission, a sense of being urgently compelled by a divine purpose. That mission must be as dominant to you as life. This is what Jesus meant when He said in v.34, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me and to finish His work.” To Him, doing the will of God and finishing it was his priority before food and drink. He could not do without them. They were His mandate, and He must realize His mandate! Do you have the same sense of kingdom mandate? The work of saving people from eternal death is part of your mission in life. It is as basic to your existence as food and water. Unless you take this kingdom mandate seriously, you will not see a need to go and bring people to the saving knowledge of Christ or budge out of your comfort zone.
- Dear Lord Jesus, please help me to put your kingdom mission and mandate first priority. Give me the enabling grace to serve and fulfill the great commission, even when it is not convenient or suitable.
- Please, Lord, remove the spiritual dullness in me and give me a sound mind in Jesus name.
Dr Mrs Ada Folajinmi
President, Sojourners Ministry International, Kachia, Kaduna State