My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me
John 4:4-42 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
And He had to pass through Samaria. 5 So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; 6 and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11 She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 16 He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” 19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
27 At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?” 28 So the woman left her water pot, and went into the city and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” 30 They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. 36 Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.”
39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of His word; 42 and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”
Today’s text is filled with many teaching points which are frequently referenced in sermons and writing. There is the fact that Jesus once again goes outside the normal societal guidelines and speaks not only to a Samaritan woman, but one who had a poor reputation with her own people. There are verses 23-24 where Jesus says: “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Much has been shared about what it means to worship in spirit and truth and we could spend much more time learning what it means for us. There is the interchange of verses 25-26: The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” It is one thing when someone makes a statement. We need to discern and determine whether it is a statement of fact. When Jesus reveals Himself to someone as Messiah, Savior, Redeemer, there is no question, only knowledge that what He says is true. There is the fact that this woman of ill repute was not only saved, but she immediately became a witness of who Jesus was. The text says: From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” From one encounter, ordained by God many in that city were saved.
Yet of all these things, one of the most meaningful portions of today’s text to me is verses 31-34 where it says: Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” Doing the will of God should not be difficult. It should not sap our energy. If we would be like Jesus, doing the will of God, accomplishing His work should be life giving. It should be what not only sustains us but what actually energizes and feeds us. In Luke 2:49, when as a child Jesus had been separated from His parents for days and they found Him in the temple, He says: “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” In John 5:19 Jesus says: "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” In John 8:19 He says: "And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him." Jesus lived to please the Father. Being focused on the will of the Father, nothing was too great of a burden for Jesus. His food, what sustained Him was to do the will of God. Even Jesus death on the cross was to fulfill His purpose, ordained by God. It was to please Him and so even His death on the cross was not too great of a burden to bear. It was after all, through the cross that the resurrection came and after the resurrection Jesus ascension to be restored to His place in heaven at the right hand of the Father. So even dying for the Father, to redeem and reconcile sinners to Him, was life giving to Jesus.
Why then is it that it is so easy for us to become weary, even burned out serving God? Why does it seem that so often for those who serve God and do His will it is difficult? There is striving and struggles. For any who have experienced the struggling and the striving in serving the Lord, for all who are weary Jesus says: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29) Perhaps, if what we are doing for God, if our labor for Him is making us weary, it is because we are not laboring with Him. We may be laboring to please people. We may be laboring to accomplish our own plans and do our own will. What we are doing may indeed be good, but if it is not life giving, if it saps our energy rather than feeding us, it may not be God. If we will be yoked to Christ, doing what He did, only doing what God is doing, we will find rest even as we labor. Our work, like His will bring resurrection life, we will be restored to the position and presence of God, to full fellowship with Him that He intended for us from the beginning.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit because of what You did Jesus, because You lived to please the Father and do His will, because even through death on the cross Your obedience led to life, I too can and do choose to live to please the Father with You. I choose to yoke myself to You, yielding to the Holy Spirit, that my labor would be pleasing to the Father and life giving to me. Amen.