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A Spiritual Appetite

John 4:31-34
Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about." Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?" "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. (NIV)

The disciples returned from their shopping trip in Sychar, with food for all of them. But the response of Jesus took them by surprise. Had Jesus really got His own food? And if so, how? But Jesus was talking about a different sort of food to satisfy a different hunger.

In English we sometimes say things like, "I am really hungry for that job!" It does not mean that we want to eat the job, but that we really want to do the work and would love to be appointed to the role. That was the sense in which Jesus was speaking. What satisfied Him most was working to please Father God, and seeing the assignment right through to completion on the cross. So the opportunity to draw the Samaritan woman to faith was better than a good meal. It was as though Jesus was saying, "What keeps me going, is doing all that I have been given to do, and continuing until the work is done". So that on the cross, Jesus cried out, "It is finished".

We have many appetites: a hunger for food, relationship, love, warmth and shelter. But we are also designed to serve God and look after His world for Him, proclaiming the sovereignty of God and His gospel in a fallen world. Every person is marked out by their appetites, and the priority which each is given. For Jesus, loving the lost and preaching the gospel was His first concern and everything else took a lesser place. Do you have the same priority?

Ever-wise God. Thank You that Jesus made the salvation of sinners His top priority, as He cared for the needy and preached the gospel. I am sorry that I am often much more hungry for other things which will meet my needs, rather than being concerned to please You and fulfil my divine commission. Please forgive me, and help me to re-set my priorities so that I will serve You with a joyful and willing heart, and let others know how much You love them. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams