John 4:32-4 - Physical versus Spiritual Food.
John 4:32-4 - Physical versus Spiritual Food.
John 4:32-34 (NKJV) But He said to them, "I have food to eat of
which you do not know." Therefore the disciples said to one another,
"Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My
food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
John 4:32-4 (CWR) He said to them, "I've been eating while you
were gone, and you have no idea how good it tasted." The disciples
said to each other, "Do you think that someone brought Him something
to eat while we were gone?" Jesus, over hearing their conversation,
said, "The food I'm talking about is the happiness that comes from
doing God's will and accomplishing what He sent me to do.
The conversion of a needy sinner had been food for Christ's
soul, [Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary]
The eager response of the woman was more refreshing to the soul
of Jesus than food would have been to His body. [SDA Bible
The "food" about which Jesus was speaking was his spiritual
nourishment. It includes more than Bible study, prayer, and attending church.
Spiritual nourishment also comes from doing God's will and helping to
bring his work of salvation to completion. We are nourished not only
by what we take in, but also by what we give out for God. [Life
Jesus and the disciples had been traveling, and He was tired.
So He sat down by a well to rest while the disciples went into town
to buy food. When the disciples came back, Jesus was apparently
reenergized. They kept offering Him food, but He wasn't hungry anymore. "I
have food you don't know about," He told them. Then He began two
days' worth of ministry in the town where they had stopped to rest.
Jesus wasn't refreshed simply by doing more work. That's an
exhausting way to try to live. He wasn't refreshed by getting back in touch
with the Spirit, as though He had been out of touch before. No, the
Spirit was fully present in Jesus at all times. But when the Spirit
manifested the work of God through Jesus in an encounter with a woman at
the well, He was energized. That's what happens when the Presence
gets stirred up.We get filled with His enthusiasm and strength.
We've all experienced the boost of energy that comes when
something captures our interest. But we aren't used to thinking of God -
or Jesus or the Spirit - as having various levels of enthusiasm. He
seems to be above such swells of emotion. It's hard to understand His
fire rising and falling with certain ideas and events.
Scripture is clear that God has zeal for specific purposes
and plans (Isaiah 9:7; 37:32).And when we line up with God's
purposes for us, we're reenergized too. That's why it's essential to
notice the passions God has put within you. That's where He has
designed you to work and build His Kingdom. Your food is to do His will,
and whatever His will is for you, it will refresh you.
Father, I know my food is to do Your will. Please fill me
with the right passions and then refresh me as I live from my heart
for Your purposes. [The One Year Experiencing God's Presence
Devotional by Chris Tiegreen]
Throughout Jesus' ministry, we see a marked difference
between His priorities and the concerns of His disciples. The disciples
were often preoccupied with how to meet their physical needs (Mt
14:15-17; John 4:8; Lu 18:28). Jesus repeatedly assured them that the
Father knew their needs and would provide (Lu 11:11-13). Jesus stressed
that their priority was to "seek first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness"; the necessities of daily life would be provided (Mt 6:33).
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, His disciples had
gone into a nearby town to get food. While His disciples were seeking
earthly nourishment, Jesus was giving this woman "living water" that
would satisfy her soul for eternity. When they returned, the disciples
urged Jesus to eat. He replied that His "food" was to do the will of
His Father. Since their attention was on earthly matters, His
disciples misunderstood His reply. Jesus' very life came from obeying His
Father. Because of Jesus' obedience that day, the woman received eternal
life. In her excitement, she brought many others to Jesus to hear for
themselves, and many believed that He was indeed the Christ, the Savior of
the world (John 4:39-42).
The apostle Paul understood what Jesus had been teaching His
disciples. When Paul wrote to the believers in Rome, he stressed that "the
kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace
and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things
is acceptable to God and approved by men" (Ro 14:17-18).
When Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, Jesus
quoted the Scriptures, summarizing the focus of His life and ministry:
"Know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every
word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord" (De 8:3).
[Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re John 4:34]
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON EXPERIENCING GOD:
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GLORIOUS SONG OF FAITH AND LOVE: