“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. – Jn. 4:34 NIV
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Jesus Christ, tired after a long journey and possibly hungry, had sent his disciples to get food, while he sat by a Well located on a land in Sychar, in Samaria, that Jacob Willed to his son Joseph. He was in this state when a Samaritan woman approached the Well to draw some water and Jesus asked her for a drink. Her refusal developed into conversation between them on what the right approach to worshipping Jehovah should be and Jesus told her that true worshippers will not only consider the appropriateness of the worship location but will also worship in spirit and in truth.
They were in this conversation when the disciples arrived and expressed surprise at seeing him in a conversation with the woman. Their suspicion of his activities was further deepened when he rejected the meal he was offered, telling them that he had food to eat that they knew nothing about. They must have concluded that they required no more evidence of his having a hidden agenda more than this, after all he was tired and hungry before they left to get food, only for them to return and have him claiming to have eaten.
Probably noticing their growing suspicion of his personality, he in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s Devotional defined the food that he was referring to which is to do the Will of the one who sent him and to finish His work.
This will always take precedence over any other food, more so all the signs pointed to a big field that was fast becoming ready available for harvest – Jn. 4:35. What the disciples according to him were enjoying was payment for a work that they were yet to do. The ideal would have been for both, they and the sower who is Jehovah, to be glad at the same time, with them and similar minded people getting paid for their efforts at harvesting and the sower getting rewarded with more souls being brought into his eternal kingdom, being the result for providing all the resources to the harvesters. Yes they were not the ones that sowed but they have the advantage of harvesting and getting equally rewarded – Jn. 4:36-38; Matt. 13:24-30.
That man needs regular meals to maintain the health status of the body cannot be argued. Without good food, the body of man will wither away very quickly, and for as long as the survival of the soul in this realm is dependent on the health condition of the body, it becomes very important that the one who is being spiritually conscious must also take very good care of the body. Doing anything otherwise will be an attempt to cut short the life-span of the soul as there is simply no way optimum performance can be expected from a soul that is inside a weak body.
However, as important as feeding the body may be, the order of priority should always place feeding of the soul higher than feeding the body. Many today are so concerned with feeding the body, much to the detriment of feeding the soul. The advantage in this may just be temporal as all the feeding will mean nothing if the soul in such a well nourished body eventually finds itself in hell after departure from this realm, which will be the case if the soul has not been equally well nourished while man was in this existence.
Jesus Christ was indeed tired and hungry, two actions that weigh heavily and negatively on the body and by inference on the soul too, which was why he asked his disciples to get food but the need to feed the body paled into insignificance as soon as the opportunity to feed the soul showed up, one which he grabbed with both hands and according to him, got him physically and spiritually satisfied.
This concept, at least until that moment was strange to the disciples, but should no longer be strange to the Christian today. Today’s Christian must remain very conscious of the need to prioritize the feeding of the soul because that is the part of man that is immortal and defines man in the life after life. Jesus Christ identified the food for the soul as simply;
1. To do the Will of the one who sent him – Jn. 4:34a. That Jehovah should be the One that is sending every Christian on their spiritual mission is expected to be the norm. What should be also be equally important is for the Christian to be able to define what the Will of Jehovah for his/her life is with regards to the divine mission. Many times this becomes a challenge for most Christians as they are not even able to define the planned role of Jehovah for their lives. It will be simply impossible to assure oneself that one is doing the Will of Jehovah if one does not know what the Will of Jehovah for one in particular situation is. Identify Jehovah’s Will and strictly adhere to such Will in your everyday activity and you will be on the road to positively feeding your soul.
2. To finish the work of the One who sent him. Although it may be impossible to finish the work of Jehovah but one should aspire to finish one’s portion of the task before death arrives. Jesus Christ was able to achieve his life task and so was bold to say on the cross that, “it is finished” – Jn. 19:30. The Christian should also aspire to be in a similar position where all that needs to be done in this realm is achieved before the time for departure. This will also help to present the soul very healthy before Jehovah.
Nourish the body with good food but make sure that the soul is not starved of its nourishment. No matter how well nourished the body is, it will still return to what it was made from, which is the dust unlike the soul whose nourishment will be of eternal advantage. Complete all He has commissioned you to do in this realm and you can then be assured of a healthy life in the life after life. May God grant us the wisdom to identify and complete out tasks in this world so we can present a healthy soul to Him at the end of our earthly sojourn in Jesus name. Amen.