Has your planning for the “big food” holidays started yet? Do you have the menu, the guest list or even seating chart planned out? At our house we are eyeing the turkey which we have nurtured for many months in anticipation of the day of harvest. Maybe as you read this you are getting hungry thinking about a special feast that awaits you. While physical food has definite value, Jesus shares about a greater spiritual feast.
The Gospel of John highlights Jesus’ personal interactions with people. Throughout this book are accounts of lives changed as a result of Jesus’ miracles and teaching about how to be in relationship with God.
In John chapter 4 Jesus spoke words of truth and grace to a Samaritan woman at the well and he had just rejoined his disciples. They knew he was tired and thirsty and they urged him to eat some food. Seizing a teaching moment Jesus replied to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” The disciples probably thought he was going to share with them a scrumptious menu, but Jesus wanted them to understand the purpose of why he came to earth. John 4:34 says, “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
Jesus is declaring his mission on earth was to obey his Father in heaven by preaching the good news of God and providing a way for humanity to be back in relationship with God. The disciples hung on these words as Jesus gives them a quick lesson on sowing and reaping. I see this scene unfold as Jesus and his disciples could have been walking by a fertile field ready to be harvested. Jesus says in verse 35: “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” Jesus tells his disciples they have a part to play in sharing the good news and the crop of harvest is eternal life for all who surrender to Jesus. What an amazing meal!
Jesus came to earth to live, die, and resurrect so humanity can feast on the presence of God for eternity. This was the food Jesus offered and he invites all to the feast. Furthermore, Jesus commissions his people to share this good news with others. God initiates a relationship with humanity and offers a meal that will fill you for eternity.
Let’s not forget this meal can fill you in this life so that you can overflow and bless others! Come to the feast – you are invited to be blessed by God and to bless others!
Frank Alioto is the pastor of The River Covenant Church, which meets Sundays at 10 a.m. at The Challenger Learning Center in Kenai. Frank also serves as a chaplain with Central Emergency Services and can be reached at 252-2828 or www.therivercovenantchurch.org.