“Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’ But He said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ So the disciples were saying to one another, ‘No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work’” (John 4:31–34).
The disciples’ primary concern at this point had been food. That’s why they urged Jesus to eat. Jesus, however, had a higher priority, as His reply to them makes clear: “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” Like the Samaritan woman (4:11), the disciples misunderstood Jesus’ words and began saying doubtfully to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?”
Jesus took advantage of their confusion to teach them an important spiritual lesson. He said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” Doing God’s will by proclaiming the truth to a lost sinner gave the Lord satisfaction and sustenance far surpassing what food could give Him.
Jesus frequently referred to the Father as the One who sent Him. His goal during His earthly ministry was to accomplish His work of salvation. Throughout His ministry, Jesus walked in perfect intimacy with His Father, living in complete accordance with the Father’s will until His cry of triumph from the cross—“It is finished!” (19:30)—marked the accomplishment of His mission on earth. Submitting to the Father was Jesus’ constant devotion, consummate joy, and true sustenance.
How often does food come between you and sweet fellowship with your Father in heaven? In what ways does this legitimate appetite become a tyrannical force that overrules and overrides the greater necessity of daily dependence on God?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610