Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will
of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” (John 4:34)
Jesus’ ministry, we see a marked difference between His priorities and the
concerns of His disciples. The disciples were often preoccupied with how to
meet their physical needs (Matt. 14:15–17;_John 4:8; Luke 18:28). Jesus
repeatedly assured them that the Father knew their needs and would provide (Luke
11:11–13). Jesus stressed that their priority was to “seek first the kingdom of
God and His righteousness”; the necessities of daily life would be provided
(Matt. 6:33). When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, His disciples had gone
into a nearby town to get food. While His disciples were seeking earthly
nourishment, Jesus was giving this woman “living water” that would satisfy her
soul for eternity. When they returned, the disciples urged Jesus to eat. He
replied that His “food” was to do the will of His Father. Since their attention
was on earthly matters, His disciples misunderstood His reply. Jesus’ very life
came from obeying His Father. Because of Jesus’ obedience that day, the woman
received eternal life. In her excitement, she brought many others to Jesus to
hear for themselves, and many believed that He was indeed the Christ, the
Savior of the world (John 4:39–42).
apostle Paul understood what Jesus had been teaching His disciples. When Paul
wrote to the believers in Rome, he stressed that “the kingdom of God is not
eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by
men” (Rom. 14:17–18).
Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, Jesus quoted the Scriptures,
summarizing the focus of His life and ministry: “Know that man shall not live
by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the
Lord” (Deut. 8:3).