"In the meanwhile his disciples besought him, saying, "Master, eat." But he said unto them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about. Therefore said the disciples one to another, "Hath any man brought him anything to eat?" Jesus said unto them, "My food is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." – John 4:31-34
When I read this passage, I started laughing because it reminded me of my husband. One of his secretaries told me that he gets so busy she has to remind him to eat lunch. He does this at home as well when he works in the yard or a project that he is enjoying. He enjoys what he is doing so much that he is energized and doesn't need to eat. Christ, like my husband, enjoyed doing His father's will so much that He was energized by it. When He taught, witnessed, and reached out to people He was so content in doing what He was sent to do that it was like food to His soul. The disciples were showing concern for his health and his need of food when they told Him to eat. I don't think His response was a rebuke. I think He was simply telling them that He felt energized by obeying His father and doing the work God called Him to do.
Because the verses following this passage have Christ comparing the crowds following Him to fields that are ready to harvest, I would say that the obedience and the work that Christ is talking about is more than obeying His commands to not sin. It is using our spiritual gifts to build up the church and to edify and exhort each other so that the church is healthy and functioning the way it should be. It is not an accident that the individuals that compose the body called the church are from different schools or jobs or neighborhoods. God, in his sovereignty, has placed us where He has to be a light. The concept of some sowing and some reaping gives us more freedom and less pressure in witnessing in the realms we move in. Evangelism sometimes is taking them through all the steps at once, but evangelism can also be looked at as bringing them one step closer to God. We sow by both our lifestyles and our words. When we lovingly and humbly live a life that is holy and pleasing to God we witness to those around us by giving them a taste of what God is like. If they see that we don't gossip, that we don't pilfer from our boss, don’t vindictively compete, but encourage those around us they see that God is love. If we invite conversations at lunch and listen to another’s problems and encourage her with the truth she will see God is both full of grace and truth. When we are in tune to those around us and give an answer for the hope that is in us, others will look to God and wonder if He can give them hope. We should always be about the business of sowing or reaping, but at times we forget or neglect that responsibility. We need to be sure we are sowing seeds of righteousness and love so that we are pointing others to the Savior. Are we looking constantly for people with whom we can share the gospel? Are we using our gifts to exhort each other to love, to do good deeds, and to be about the Father's work?
Some people walk away from church and go after a sinful lifestyle for a season because they have not entered the Father's work and bored at church. It is not boring when we let God work through us. Just as Christ was energized and strengthened when He did the Father's work we will be, too. I experience that when I write, pray with someone, or when I share Christ. I experience that when a student I have mentored shares with me how they shared Christ with a friend or ministered to a Christian friend. I am energized by the fact that the person I mentored is walking in obedience. Notice joy comes in obedience, not in the fruit! In 2 John 4 John tells the people that he is writing to that he rejoices that he has found his children walking in truth. That is the way God is toward us!
Sometimes in dealing with personal issues we think we need more strength to obey Christ. Sometimes we think we need more knowledge about God, before we witness. Sometimes we think we need muster up more courage to speak God's truth to our friends. However the truth isn't that we need those things. We simply need to be willing to obey. In his book, Finishing Touches, Charles Swindoll puts those thoughts in their place, "We don't need more strength than the strength God gives us. We don't need more knowledge than we already have. All we need is the will to do what needs to be done."
Do you want an exciting life like Christ had? Do you want to be so excited and so energized about life that you forget to eat? If so, notice the fields around you that are ripe and enter into your Father's work. Does He want you to sow seeds of love, encouragement, truth, or exhortation? Does he want you to enter the harvest by sharing the gospel with someone?
Prayer: Father, I love the fact that Your son came became a man and walked through life just like we do. Thank you for demonstrating Your heart to us through Him. Help us to see the field with Your eyes and put in us the same kind of love You have. Put us in the schools or the jobs or the mission fields as You wish so that there we are a light and there is a witness to those who need You. Amen.