Get off the beaten track in search of food that truly satisfies.
The eyes of some people immediately light up when good food is being mentioned. They wouldn’t hesitate to get off the beaten track in search of mouth-watering, tantalising culinary delights. And, in Malaysia, the availability of an amazing variety of cheap and delicious food makes resistance futile.
The apostle John makes some interesting references to food which have deep spiritual connotations.
“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34). Jesus made this startling statement after chatting with the Samaritan women at the well.
His disciples had earlier come to him, urging him to eat. I can imagine them saying: “Well, Master, you’d better eat. It’s time for meals already.”
But Jesus deflected their thoughts away from physical food by telling them there is something else that truly satisfies and fills our deepest longings. *
Now there is nothing wrong with delighting in delicious food (Ecclesiastes 5:18). But are our minds constantly thinking only about food to tickle our palates and fill our stomachs – like the disciples?
Jesus asks: “How about deriving the same degree of pleasure from doing God’s will as we would take delight in a sumptuous meal?”
Next, John moves on to record Jesus challenging his disciples to eat his body and drink his blood (John 6:56). This sounds incredible. Anything which hints of cannibalism is certainly too much to stomach. It is not only repulsive but may result in indigestion.
However, this symbolic act of eating and drinking means believing in Christ. Believers periodically do this when they partake of the holy communion.
We not only embrace, by faith, the benefits which Christ availed for us at the cross – salvation and the power to live a righteous life. We also identify with his mission and purpose. Just as food and drink, when consumed, break down and become a part of us, the very essence of what Jesus stands for – his passion for a lost world – gets assimilated into our souls.
Finally we turn to another reference on eating – this time from the Old Testament. “Then he said to me, ‘Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.’ So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth” (Ezekiel 3:3).
Here Ezekiel was urged to eat God’s written word. God’s message has to be internalised by the prophet before he could release it to the people. It is also implied that it is sweet to do God’s will.
God’s word is more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey (Psalm 19:10). But are we feeding on it and availing ourselves of its benefits?
So at last we've come to the end of our food trail. Hope you have had a truly satisfying gastronomic adventure. Just to recapitulate:
- Do we delight in doing God’s will as much as we enjoy delicious food?
- When we partake of the holy communion, do we identify with Christ’s mission – apart from enjoying the benefits of this symbolic act?
- Do we have a healthy appetite for God’s word – not only seek that it might be incorporated into our souls but that we might be empowered to live by it?
* Unless we know God’s specific will for our lives and seek to live it out, we will not be fulfilled:
THE POWER OF VISION
SEEKING GOD’S WILL