27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.”
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.”
Have you eaten yet today? Are you hungry?
Jesus has just been offering the Samaritan woman a drink of living water that, if she drinks it, will leave her to never thirst again. He was talking about the Holy Spirit. (see yesterday’s Grow Daily if you missed it)
Now Jesus speaks of ‘food’ – metaphorical, not real, food – that his disciples know nothing about. “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (v34). This food seems to keep Jesus going, even when he’s been traveling by foot and hasn’t eaten anything in quite some time.
Hunger can be a terrible thing. ‘You’re not yourself when you’re hungry.’ We all get ‘hangry’ sometimes – that ugly combination of angry and hungry. But Jesus seems to be different. Jesus doesn’t get ‘hangry.’ He has resources that feed his soul, even when food isn’t available.
The disciples don’t get it. “Could someone have brought him food?” they ask (v33). The idea of filling your stomach with something other than food seemed absurd to them, just as it does to you and me.
It seems that the food Jesus is talking about is helping people to come to believe in him as the Messiah. He’s just been offering ‘living water’ to the adulterous Samaritan woman. Now she’s run off and told everyone about Jesus, and at the end of today’s passage we read, ‘because of his words many more became believers’ (v41). This is the harvest that quenches Jesus’ hunger, even more so than bread.
Are you hungry? There is a way to deal with our deepest hunger, and Jesus is calling you to be a part of it: tell people about the Messiah, Jesus, the thirst-quencher, the hunger-killer, and taste of the richness of seeing people come to put their trust in him. Savour that.
Head: Consider the radical shift in thinking Jesus is calling us to make: telling others about him fills our hunger more than food.
Heart: Are you hungry? Satisfied? What are you looking to to fill your hunger instead of telling others about Jesus?
Hands: Is there one person you will see in the coming week you can share the gospel with? Can you offer to buy them – or cook them – some actual food, in order to share with them the food for their souls?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Jesus often shatters my way of thinking and shows me how it falls short of truth. I enjoy eating good food every day – thank you for providing it for me. But please forgive me, because I think actual food is more important than sharing the eternal, soul-quenching food of the gospel of Jesus. Please change me, by your Spirit, to share Jesus with the hungry people around me. Soften their hearts, by your Spirit, so that they will trust in you and find satisfaction in your Son alone. In Jesus’ name, and by the power of your Spirit I pray, Amen.
This Grow Daily was first posted with the Spirit of Jesus series in 2016.