“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
When the disciples last saw their master, he had been sitting at the well, too fatigued to go into town with them on their errand to buy food. They likely rushed through their purchases out of concern for him whom they had left behind. They didn’t know it, but during their absence something spectacular was happening back at that well. The centuries-old wall of hostility between the Jews and Samaritans was about to be breached. Soon, this region which had so long isolated itself from the truth would be set ablaze with the Gospel.
The disciples were surprised when they got back to find Jesus engaged in conversation with one of the local Samaritan women, but they didn’t bother to ask him what the two had been talking about. They were too focused on their mission of providing him with something to eat. They urged him to take some food, saying, “Rabbi, eat,” but Jesus didn’t appear to need it anymore. He told them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” And the disciples, oblivious to the fact that these words had a spiritual implication, wondered to themselves how he could have managed to get food during their absence.
I think that, at this point, they may have noticed a difference in Jesus since the last time they saw him. He was no longer weary and fatigued, but revived and refreshed. The grace of God had sustained him, just as it had when he had been in the wilderness for forty days. The disciples could not understand this for they were still thinking along natural lines, too dull to notice that something supernatural had taken place. So Jesus explained it to them further by saying, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
Please pause here with me to reflect upon this for a moment, for this one statement defines everything that Jesus ever said or did while he was on earth. Just as he had explained to his own earthly parents so many years before, he would always and only be about the business of his heavenly Father (Luke 2:49); from the very first to the very last, it was always, “Not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) Contrary to popular belief, Jesus was not a revolutionary, he was not trying to “change the world” – his only desire was to do the will of the one who had sent him and to finish his work.
“My food is to do the will of him who sent me.” – This is such a simple statement, yet the profundity of it still lies beyond the reach of our own human comprehension. We, who are innately self-centered, cannot fathom a heart so perfectly aligned with the will of God. How foolishly presumptuous it is for us to speculate, “What would Jesus do?” How could any one of us ever know that? The only way we can hope for even a glimpse into the motivation of his sinless heart is by continuously seeking the will of our own heavenly Father and subjecting our own desires to his, up to the point where his will forms the base of our very sustenance. Because, after all, that is what Jesus would do.