In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Therefore, the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
The man was one of those people in the office who never seemed to stop. He was in there first thing in the morning, he went 100 miles an hour all day, and he was the last one to leave in the evening. A colleague of his was trying to figure out how someone of his age could have so much energy every day. She figured he must be living on coffee or addicted to sugar or energy drinks. There must be something he was consuming that gave him such pep. She would come to find out that this man never even ate breakfast in the mornings. It was not food or drink or exercise that gave him his fuel to go in there every day and work like a rock star. It was the work itself that served as his fuel, as his motivation and momentum to tackle the day head-on.
Here, Jesus presents his disciples with a paradox. They have been following him, ministering with him and working with him, and they are hungry. It is time to fuel up for the work that lay ahead. They are thinking in a logical way, that they need fuel to help them complete more work. They expect Jesus to be the same, but He tells them that the work itself is his fuel. Doing the will of his Father in heaven is what keeps him going to continue doing the will of his Father in heaven. This paradox seems to be some spiritual machine of perpetual motion whereby doing God’s work gives him the energy and ambition to do more of God’s work. Walking out the will of the Father for his life is not only the goal but somehow also the fuel needed to reach that goal. It fills him and empowers him for what is to come.
Laboring for the Lord can be physically exhausting, and we sometimes will not have the physical refreshment or sustenance we think we will need to continue. That is okay because we have spiritual reserves from which to draw. Although we may reach physical exhaustion, we should not reach spiritual exhaustion. Doing the will of God in his strength does not sap us of our strength but should give us more of it. Our spiritual challenges should not lay us waste but should stir up in us a desire for more. Doing the work of God should excite us and spur us on prepared for even greater work. Father, give us revelation of what it means to be sustained by the fulfillment of your will so that we would be motivated and empowered to fulfill your will always.