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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."

—John 4:31-34

This can have a rosy glow, and not inaccurately. There were many works of compassion and mercy and love ahead of Jesus, the kinds of good works that leave us with a warm, fuzzy satisfied feeling inside. Again, not inaccurate— we are created in the image of God to do good works, to express love to one another.

Of course, there's a catch. He's also talking about a cross.

This food, this wondrous food Jesus is teaching about, includes suffering, sacrifice, and death.

And of course, a meal doesn't have to be poison for us to know it offends our appetites. The beginning of the offense, where the taste grows bitter for our flesh, is in submission. It is "doing the will of Him who sent Me" that may lead many places but will most inevitably walk the path of Golgotha.

There's a sense in which submission seems particularly dated in our time, a sign of unenlightened minds, inequality, and oppression. A moment of candor exposes the illusion of this— submission has always been the dealbreaker. From the pharisees to the rich young ruler, from the enemy in ages past to all who will cry "Lord, Lord" yet never knew Him in the age yet to come, it's all about submission. It is, perhaps, the root offense of the gospel.

And we hate it. I hate it. I hate the death of my self, my preferences, my pride. I hate yielding my right to go my own way and my right to be right. And I hate it because I fear it. What if He doesn't show up or doesn't come through? What if He is not sovereign? What if He is not good? What if He does not love me? And what if it will hurt anyway?

Yet I draw courage and strength from the fact that He has breathed something else in me, that He has given me living water to drink that is becoming in me a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Evem with the hate and fear born of my flesh, by His grace I am hungry for this food.

I wonder if there is any other test of faith at all.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
   blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.
Fear the Lord , you His saints,
   for those who fear Him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
   but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

—Psalm 34:8-10


Thanks for posting that.
I think that the lesson God is trying to teach me to put into practice is the denial of "my rights".

1 Cor 9.

He keeps putting it in my face, in theory and in reality.
Wow thanks!
A word that has become the bain of most people in our modern times.
I am being confronted on all sides with this word. I see how it is so hard and yet I want to fulfill it so much.
THanks for your perspective.
This was cool to read. I'm going to be baptized on Sunday, GOD willing, and the theme this week is putting to death the flesh. :)