31. Food Source

Meditations on Jesus in John’s Gospel : 31 : Jesus, Source of Hidden Food

Jn 4:31,32     Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

In the days of Israel’s post-exile history, Malachi shows us that this was a people who hardly dared believe that God was there, and as a result their spiritual activities were almost negligible. Today, in a word of great busyness and stress, the ‘church experience’ of many Christians has been reduced because, “I am too tired’. The assumption seems to be that God cannot refresh. It is a wrong assumption!

Yes Jesus got tired, that’s why he was sitting at the well while the disciples went to find food (4:6,8). We might have just stood and watched as the woman came to the well and draw water, but Jesus obviously responded to the prompting of his Father and entered into this life changing conversation we’ve been considering.  What was Jesus’ priority in life? My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (v.34). Yes, the will of God was the crucial thing that guided him in all he did and he knew that he had been sent by the Father with a purpose (see 5:30; 6:38; 8:26; 9:4; 10:37-38; 12:49-50; 14:31; 15:10; 17:4).

For Jesus, doing God’s will was energy giving; it was like food to him. Now the reality is that when we do God’s will He will provide for us. At the heart of the Old Testament covenant were blessings and curses (Deut 28). When the people obeyed their side of the covenant, God’s side wasn’t that He would leave them in peace. Oh no, it was that He would bless them with great abundance. Abundant material provision for His obedient people was His side of the agreement.

The apostle Paul came to realize this same thing was there as part of the new covenant that comes with Jesus.  Jesus himself is the source of our provision. Listen to Paul’s extravagant language: God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8). Does this say that you will have all of God’s grace to sit around feeling good? No you will have it so that, you will abound in every good work! As we obey the Lord’s prompting and so enter into His ‘work’ He will bless you with all you need. (Remember our calling: “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works – Eph 2:8). Not sure about it still? Listen to some more of Paul’s words: my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19) and I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Phil 4:13).

The key to not getting over tired is not to do what God hasn’t led you to do, and not to use up resources He hasn’t asked you to use, because He will not replenish what you have squandered. The other side of that coin is that when we respond to His leading and do the things He’s guided us to do, in the way He shows us to do them, then we find that there are resources there we previously didn’t know about.  Will we get tired? Yes. Will we be exhausted? No.  Why?  Because the difference between tiredness and exhaustion is the difference between God’s will and going beyond it, and between receiving His resources and going beyond the supply (and most of us do that at sometime in our life – it’s a learning thing, and we sometimes have to learn again and again!) Jesus is our model, the Son who had the Father’s will in the forefront of his thinking, and responded to His Spirit to do what His Father did. Result?  Food! Resources!

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