Day 59: Food You Know Nothing About

Sometimes, I think the disciples deserve criticism for being a bit dull. While I’m willing to give them some slack, at times it seems they were confused by simple things. Jesus plainly explained truths to them, and they just didn’t get it.


However, I’m willing to give them a pass on this occasion.


Tired from a journey from Judea to Galilee, Jesus sat down near a well while His disciples went into town to buy food. He then carried on an impactful spiritual conversation with a Samaritan woman, someone who would’ve been thought of as an enemy of the Jewish people. But Jesus lovingly taught her, and the disciples returned to find the two speaking.


As the woman left, the disciples urged Jesus to eat. The last they’d seen Him, Jesus was weary from the journey and needed nourishment.


But now, Jesus rejected it: “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”


The disciples whispered amongst each other: “Could someone have brought Him food?”


The last time the disciples were with Jesus, He was hungry. Now He said He was fulfilled. Clearly, the disciples reasoned, someone must have brought their teacher a snack.


But, of course, food isn’t the nourishment Jesus was talking about. 


“My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work,” Jesus told His disciples. He had a greater source of nourishment than strength and sustenance than mere food: He was filled up by doing His Father’s work. During this conversation at the well, Jesus had revealed important truths to an unbeliever. She entered the conversation ashamed, judgmental, and guarded. But when she left, she was so filled up that she went all around town telling people of Jesus, wondering if He was the Messiah. So excited was she that she left her waterpot, her very reason for visiting the well, behind!

For Jesus, what could be more filling than that?


This isn’t to say that food wasn’t important. As fully man, Jesus needed to eat to survive. But He wanted to make a point to the disciples, one that He reminded Satan back when He was tempted in the desert: “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)


I find this true in my life. I love food as much as anyone, but even the most decadent of meals can’t match the feeling of a spiritual blessing: that feeling that comes when you help a grateful stranger, or you uncover a new truth in the Bible. The lump that arises in my throat and tears well in my eyes as the lyrics to a worship song hit me right in the gut.


Prioritize opportunities to have these moments. Set aside time to be with God. Pray that He would reveal something new in Sunday’s sermon. Listen to Christian podcasts. Do something completely selfless for someone else.


I’m willing to bet you’ll experience more filling than any meal could ever achieve.