Scripture: John 4:34, “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
Observations: Jesus is tired, hungry and thirsty from his journey from Jerusalem to Samaria. And yet even so he reaches out to a Samaritan woman who hurries back to town to tell others about Jesus. When Jesus’ disciples get back they urge him to eat (v31), but Jesus wants to make a point and so he refuses (v32). They think someone else must have given him food (v33), but Jesus explains ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.’ What sustains Jesus is not just physical food, but doing God’s will. When Jesus talks about ‘finishing God’s work’ he most likely has the cross in mind. In fact it is John who records Jesus saying on the cross, ‘It is finished. (19:20)’ But the context suggests that the work that Jesus is speaking of right here is ‘harvesting [people] for eternal life. (v36)’ After all that’s what Jesus has busy doing with the woman at the well. God sent Jesus into the world, not just to save the world through his death on the cross, but also to save individuals. Jesus never lost sight of his mission, but at the same time he never overlooked the people right in front of him.
Application: Later John records Jesus saying, ‘As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. (20:21)’ Just like God sent Jesus to harvest people for eternal life, so Jesus sends us to do the same. Of course we need our daily bread to live, but in order to really live we need to do God’s will, to bring him glory and build his kingdom. And we do that in each situation we find ourselves in, as we respond to our daily circumstances in a way that honours God. What people will God send across your path today, and how are you using that opportunity to bring glory to God?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, may I be open to doing Your work today. Lord, may I use the time that You have given me, and the opportunities that You send me, to serve Your purposes, and bring glory to Your name. Lord, may I not see just the big things, but the many small ways that I can serve You. Like Jesus may I be able to say my food is to do Your will and finish the work that You have given me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.