Jesus and Food – Obeying the Father

Jesus and Food – Obeying the Father

Jesus and Food – Obeying the Father.

“So the people came streaming from the village to see Him. Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ But Jesus replied, ‘I have a kind of food you know nothing about.’ ‘Did someone bring Him food while we were gone?’ the disciples asked each other. Then Jesus explained, “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing His work.” (John 4:30-34).

Have you ever been so involved, so absorbed in doing something that you’re not even aware of the passing of time, the flagging of energy, the developing hunger within you? Then finally, when you’re finished with whatever had been capturing your attention, you realize that it’s later than you thought, you’re starving, and you’re exhausted.

Apparently Jesus was in the middle of an experience just like that in the Samaritan village of Sychar. He had just finished a life-giving interaction with the woman at the well (John 4). As it turned out, that interaction with her was life-giving to both the woman and to Jesus. But He wasn’t done yet. The people from her village were flocking to Him to hear more about what was on Jesus’ mind. The disciples were worried at the same time about Jesus and the fact He hadn’t eaten in some time. Jesus wasn’t thinking about food at this time, as He had more important things to do. He looked with excitement upon more souls ripe for hearing about salvation. He was anticipating the next stage in His ministry with this village, and that opportunity gave Him energy and excitement. As Jesus said to His disciples, this is what He came to this world to do, and this was like food to him. This work, this ministry, was nourishing to His spirit. He knew He was obeying the Father and accomplishing His eternal purposes. He was doing what He was destined to do, and it gave Him life. His ministry, this doing of the Father’s will, was the food that kept Him going.

We can see here the tendency for Jesus to have a one-tracked mind. He easily became focused on nothing but accomplishing the desire of the Father. He refused to be distracted, even by food, from that work. He and the Father were so intimate in their union together that Jesus basically said to the Father… Your wish, Father, is my command; I work here at your pleasure. The Gospel of John offers a few insights regarding this eternal and intimate working relationship between the Son and the Father. We get a glimpse of the eternal motivating factor in Jesus’ life:

(1.) The Son would rather do the Father’s will than His own (John 5:30 and 6:38);

(2.) The Son limited Himself to doing whatever He saw the Father doing, and no more (5:19);

(3.) The Son has come to the world in His Father’s name, not his own. Everything He does is to honor the Father’s name, not his own (5:43);

(4.) The Son only speaks the words of the Father. Jesus is the Father’s mouthpiece (14:24);

(5.) The Son’s actions are based upon the Father’s actions (14:24);

(6.) The Son dutifully obeyed the Father’s desires (15:10);

(7.) The Son finds it spiritually nutritious to do what the Father wants (4:34);

(8.) The Son’s accomplishments for the Father go to prove that the Father sent the Son to this world (5:36).

(9.) The Son is dependent on the Father for everything, and the Son cannot act independently (5:19);

(10.) The Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He is doing (5:20);

(11.) The Son was overjoyed to know that His completion of God’s desires brought glory to the Father (17:4);

(12.) The Son completed the work of the Father while in this world, everything the Father sent Him to do, and Jesus was able to say on the Cross, “It is finished!” (19:30);

(13.) Just as the Father sent the Son into the world, the Son is sending His followers into the world. (17:18).

Was Jesus obsessed in an unhealthy way? There was another example of His not eating, in Mark 3:20-21. Evidently, He and His disciples were so busy they couldn’t’ find the time to eat. But generally, the message in the Gospels is that Jesus loved to eat, with practically everybody! But He knew when to eat, drink, recharge, decompress, and take the time to pray to the Father. He knew how to take care of His human body, for without it He wouldn’t be able to accomplish God’s will in this world. The most life-giving part of Jesus’ life was fulfilling the wishes of the Father in complete submission to him. Obeying the Father was Jesus’ daily bread.