“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”
(John 4:34 ESV)
As Jesus headed for Galilee, he entered a Samaritan town. Tired from the journey, he sat down by a well as his disciples went off to find food. And, as he sat there, he interacted with a woman who’d come to draw water, revealing to her his identity.
His disciples returned during this interaction, surprised that Jesus was talking with a woman. As she left to tell the rest of the town about Jesus, that they too might come to him, his followers urged Jesus to eat. But Jesus replied, telling them that he had food to eat that they knew nothing about.
He then explained himself with the words we see above. He said that his food is to do the will of God. He said that his food is to carry out the work entrusted to him.
His disciples wanted Jesus to eat, knowing that it’s essential for his physical well-being. They knew that he needed to eat that he might keep up his strength. However, Jesus pointed out that fulfilling God’s will and accomplishing his work is equally necessary. He then went on to minister to the townspeople who came to him.
We may wonder how this can be true. After all, even though we may recognize that our service of God is important, we don’t generally believe that it sustains us like food. We don’t consider it necessary for life. We tend to think of food as a necessity while service is more of an option.
Jesus, however, was on earth for one purpose. His purpose was to accomplish the will of God. His purpose was to bring salvation to those lost in sin. And, because this was his purpose, following through with it was absolutely essential. Accomplishing the work, given to him by God, sustained him.
We too are here for a reason. We also have a purpose, assigned to us by God. And that purpose is to make disciples of all nations. That purpose is to proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
Because of this, we should consider our service of God to be essential to life. We should recognize that it sustains us. Just as we pursue things like food, knowing them to be necessary, so too should we pursue the work of God.
Jesus points out to them that the fields are white for harvest. In other words, now is the time to engage in this work. Now is the appointed time to fulfill their calling. And the same is true for us.
We, then, must seek to carry out God’s will and calling, just as we pursue food. We must consider it essential to our life, just like food. Let us not consider our service of God as merely an option, but something that is both necessary and satisfying.